Yesterday morning, I woke to news about a couple of anniversaries, one sort of fun (you know, if you care about such things as freakishly large shopping malls, which I don’t) and one sad and sobering.
The Mall of America is 20 yrs old, so, Happy Anniversary to it. I tend to avoid that place like the plague, but I have been known to brave the crowds and consumerism a time or two over the years…
On a much more tragic note, today is the 5 yr anniversary of the collapse of the 35W bridge over the mighty Mississippi in Minneapolis. I remember that evening so clearly. It must have been a Wednesday, I was at church with the children, in the parking lot listening to the news on the radio, waiting to hear back from my husband, who I knew was coming from the other side of that bridge. At that time, he still worked down in the metro and I knew that he crossed that bridge often. It turns out he had hopped off the freeway and crossed the river on the smaller bridge just a block or two over, within minutes of the 35 W bridge collapse. He was a couple of miles north of the catastrophe before he learned of it. Those couple of minutes, waiting for his return call, seemed to pass in a surreal slowness of time as I began to ponder the very real possibility that my husband was among the injured, or worse…
Some anniversaries are just plain hard.
I was a mess on Sunday, an emotional blubbery mess.
A year ago this Friday, Ian underwent brain surgery, and gave us all a serious scare.
A year ago next Sunday, we got the diagnosis, on my birthday. We became cancer parents. We became a cancer family. I became a cancer mom. It was official. Ian had cancer, Medulloblastoma, an aggressive Central Nervous System cancer. Even after a successful surgery, this was a scary beast of a disease, and the diagnosis was just the beginning…
It’s been a long year.
And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a long week…
“Be thankful he’s still here” I am!
“Be thankful his cancer didn’t spread” I am!
A thankful heart can, and does, go a long way in changing a person’s perspective, in helping to diffuse and settle the swirling mess of hurt and despair, anger and frustration that threatens daily to steal peace and joy. But, I have to be honest, being thankful (I am, I truly am) doesn’t take away the pain of this heart-wrenching real-life journey we have been forced to take with our son.
It doesn’t take away the tears.
At least, not mine.
I’m fine, going about my very full and very busy days, not pausing to think deep thoughts, and then, I remember something, and I ache, I cannot even put into words how deeply I ache with the realization of how much has changed, how much has been lost, how far from “his old self” our son is, and the tears well up again, and again.
The more I try to hold them back, the more I gasp, and heave, and start to cry the ugly cry. I quickly leave the room, searching for a place to cry where no one sees…
And if you ask me how I am, I’ll tell you I’m fine.
Because I am, really. I’m a heaping pile of hurt, but I’m ok.
At least, I will be.
Because He is who He says He is.
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter of mine head.
Psalm 3:3 KJV