November 19: Too much and Too Little

carrying-manI am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.                 Psalm 27:13-14

Another good verse, featured in two different readings today.  Another example of what I call “synergy” – when I hear the same thing from multiple sources, when it seems like God is saying “I know what you are going through. I’m paying attention.” I always try to write these down, so that I can remember later, when the spiritual amnesia hits.

But…but…but God? How do I reconcile this attention NOW with what felt like absolute abandonment on October 8th? (And really – it’s one thing to read a verse, it’s another thing to feel like You are MOVING in this present mess.) This is the splinter in my soul; this is what keeps me from even beginning to feel peace, in spite of the love all around us.

Last night I felt about 1 inch away from a complete breakdown.  We are trying so, so hard, with so little strength in us, to deal with this new wrinkle – the enormously difficult, sad and stressful situation with my mother-in-law and her beloved car (the car, it turns out, is HUGE, beyond enormous in her psyche…it represents everything she has left by way of independence.  And we thought, in our tiredness, our naïveté and half-a-brain-idiocy-from-grief, that she would get over the loss within a few days…). Why, dammit, WHY is all of this happening NOW?

I was thinking all this while driving home from the grocery store (another task I have come to hate: cooking – which I once loved – brings me no joy right now), crying hot tears of anger and resentment because no one else can carry this particular load for us.  Jesus, I railed, it’s all well and good for you to promise you will bear our burdens but frankly…you tend to be on the quiet side, rather non-corporeal, you know? And I feel like I completely blew this…COMPLETELY screwed up because I was the one who insisted we had to push the boat out.  I let my fear…which was justified, given her current befuddled state…shove me forward, shove us into this place.  But we hadn’t done our homework, we didn’t have alternatives in place or even fully in mind. We “needed” to put her in a box of safety so that we wouldn’t have to worry about that TOO.  On top of everything else we are dealing with right now. But we didn’t consider how it would break her heart.

We also didn’t know that she would rise from her depression, dredge up a whole six-pack of Wherewithal and reach out to other family members, demanding to prove to us all that she’s still a good driver by being tested. A compromise is reached – we’ll get her tested at a facility in downtown DC that specializes in these matters. But first we will go to our A-List of potential helpers: her neurologist and her family physician.

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