So many of you exhibited great kindness in asking how I was doing yesterday, on the 8th anniversary of our son Joshua's death.
Yesterday was emotional. It was good, it was hard, it was busy, and we made it through.
The sun came up, I cried.
I started a Bible study with three wonderful friends. One of those friends happened to be with me on that day eight years ago. For some reason, that was a comfort.
I had an appointment with K, it was good, distracting, and kept me nice and busy. What better way to commemorate Joshua's life than invest in K's?
My mom emailed me an incredibly sweet card. I cried (a very good cry, mom).
Knowing that people remembered, grieved with me, and cared meant the world. So, thank you. Each year softens the ache, but also reminds me how much this loss is now woven into the very threads of my being. It isn't going away and I will never be "over it".
Now - about my selfishness. And toast.
We were all tired this past Sunday night. At one point in the evening I realized that it would probably be prudent to prepare a meal for my boys.
They keep insisting on growing, which means eating (I know, the NERVE of them. Seriously, it's like 3 meals a day or something. So demanding.) Sometimes I feel like it is my lot in life to make food, clean up food, do dishes from the food that was eaten on them, and then... you guessed it - make food again.
I was really exhausted, not feeling the best and felt like I could barely move off from the couch (no, I'm not pregnant). :) Dave had been studying for several hours. He was working on writing a big paper, and was taking a little bit of a break from the mental strain that was putting on him. K said he would like some toast. I looked at Dave. Dave looked at me. Dave then kindly offered to make the toast. I knew that he was really ready to just chill out. I offered to do it (maybe, kind of halfheartedly). He said, no, that he would do it.
Insert fact about our toaster oven here: If you don't sit there and watch it make toast, and often pull the toast out before it thinks it is done, 9 times out of 10 it burns it. Don't know what its deal is, and it is nearly new, but it is very testy.
So anyway, Dave put the toast into the toaster oven and then looked out the window and noticed the snow in the driveway, and then glanced at the wood stove and thought about how it probably needed to be "fed" again. He went outside.
A while later I heard the "ding" signifying that the toast was made.
I didn't want to get up and fix it for K.
Dave said he would do it.
I didn't want to have to do it after he said he would.
I went to the kitchen (maybe stomping, slightly).
The toast was burnt.
I felt myself getting angry.
K told me again that he was hungry.
I looked out the window and saw Dave on the lawn tractor plowing snow from the driveway.
Right now? He had to do it right now?
I pulled the toast out and stared at its charred edges.
I wanted him to see it.
I wanted him to see me slaving over putting new bread into the toaster and buttering it (Because it is so dang difficult to make toast!). And *cringe* I wanted him to feel bad.
There he was just having the time of his life - whatever, maybe plowing the driveway, but it was probably super fun - while I did the job he said he would do.
I can not believe I am even admitting the ugliness here - but I almost took the burnt toast outside to ceremoniously,
put it into the outside trash.
How else would he know what he had done??
That is when my conscience began to break through my fatigue and selfishness.
What are you doing?
What are you thinking??
You wretched woman!
After hours of studying, this man saw all that needed to be done,
felt deeply the responsibility of it all,
and tried to do it all.
In the process, he burnt some toast.
BIG, fat deal!
Get a grip lady.
Oh man, Realizing the thought process I was going down made me want to throw up. Only I still remember vividly how awful that is, so not really. Too fresh in my memory there.
Moving on. I felt really bad.
I put the burnt toast in an empty microwave popcorn bag that needed to be thrown away and I put it in the bottom of the trash can. The inside one.
I was still very tired. I prayed that God would help me to be the woman that he intended me to be. I prayed to build up, not tear down.
I served K the toast as Dave walked in.
He quickly assessed the situation.
He had forgotten about the toast and had been distracted by the other duties calling him.
And he felt bad.
He felt bad - and he had just plowed the driveway, fed the dog and cats, took the trash (minus two pieces of black toast) out to the road for the early morning pickup, AND filled the wood stove with wood. - During which time I concocted a plan to make him feel bad - and then
made some toast.
I'm so dumb sometimes.
He apologized and I felt really, really guilty. We talked about it - and all was well.
I write this because this simple, and now pretty funny, experience blew open my own view on my own heart. It helped me to realize how often I do this. Unfortunately, many times I follow through with the evil in my heart and do not repent. I am more aware of it now. Passive aggressive anyone? (raises hand).
It's not good.
And I know I am not alone (someone? any one? I'm not alone... right??). It's so easy to just go with our natural tendency and not fight for what is so much better.
I'm fighting for it.
And let me tell you, it will be a fight.
Getting over myself always is.