Today was an up-and-down type of day. I’m still fighting congestion & feeling tired, and I’ve decided it’s much easier to feel down & depressed about things in general whenever one is not physically 100%. There’s a definite connection between the physical and spiritual parts of our beings, that’s for sure. I’m hoping to “hit the pavement” in the morning to begin to get those natural endorphins flowing again.
On the “down” side of today, I felt overwhelmed at all of the tasks that are staring me in the face, piled in every room, hiding behind every door. Before Mark’s hospitalization, we were practically out of town the whole month of July. You can just imagine the sorting and putting away that I’m behind on.
But I decided today to just do one thing…mark it off my list, and feel good about it. My one thing was to bundle up the boys’ outgrown clothes & drop them by Goodwill. Mark loved having garage sales, he was a natural salesman, loved the people coming & going—me, not so much. Since he’s now in heaven, I don’t have any inclination to continue the garage sale adventure. That’s where Goodwill comes in.
As I opened a closet to see if I’d located all of things for donating, I glanced at his gunrack. There were his guns, his shotgun shells neatly placed. His two hunting vests, one with lots of orange for pheasant & quail, the other green camo for turkey. His jackets. Sentimental guy that he was, he even saved his FFA jacket from Inman High School, his jacket from his not-sure-about-his-career-path Culligan job.
A full, vibrant life. Someone with so many plans, so much to do, so much left to give….gone in a heartbeat. I’ll never understand why. I don’t think I’m supposed to. I had to close that closet door pretty quickly, I’m not ready to deal with all of those memories yet.
I loaded up the truck and took the items to Goodwill. Donating things to charities is a mood-brightener, I highly recommend it. This was the beginning of my “up” part of the day.
We attended our next session of “Building Bridges” tonight, sponsored by Hospice. It’s heartening to see that we are not alone, that there are folks from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnicities, walking a similar path that the boys & I have been given. No one’s story is the same, yet you can identify with everyone’s on some level. There’s a loss, there’s pain, and you try to minimize the collateral damage and heal the best way you know how.
As we talked tonight before bed, after prayers were said, Andrew remarked, “You know, there’s a sign in our classroom that says, ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted.'” Ben replied that he’d seen the same sign in his class last year. In my 48 years, I’ve never heard that saying, and I’d thought I’d pretty much heard them all. I like it.
I remember Mark smiling at me in the hallway of the Blackburn Science Building at Murray State University on Sept. 3, 1986. I smiled back. Both of us smiled alot, we were both raised in the tradition that a smile can break tension, make another person feel comfortable, and is just a generous way to greet folks. He had me at that first smile. He laughed, oh, how he laughed! Each & everyday. And because of his laughter, my “way-A” type personality actually loosened up and enjoyed life more to the fullest.
In my mind, I’m replaying dozens of instances in which he laughed, I laughed, we all laughed as a family. And I know, down deep within my soul, that we will continue to laugh, even though sometimes we may be crying at the same time. Because God is good.
Even in the midst of this terribly sad circumstance my family is in, God is in control. And God will provide.
Because “living like Daddy” requires a whole lotta laughter.