on All Saints Day

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The first thing I want to tell you is this: I only cry in the car. The second is, I never miss the man I left.

It’s 6:25 on a Wednesday evening, a night when the kids have a standing engagement and I usually work alone for a few hours. I send him a text: I’m at the Thai place if you want to swing by. He responds a second later: Just picked up take-out from there 10 minutes ago. Great minds. Next time, I type. About once a month we share a meal. We chat about bosses and kids and upcoming family plans. Every few days, one of us texts the other with a piece of trivia, an old inside joke. Sometimes I’ll even ask, “Do you remember that time when we …” Most often, he doesn’t. 

when it's time to trust again

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The other night I had a dream. In it, my family was all living in only a segment of our house. We were cramped into a couple of bedrooms and a kitchen, but the house had another wing. Another long row of great big bedrooms with good light and a great view of the mountains, which we could access from a little walkway from a side door. In the dream, I found the door, and realized we had more room than I thought, and our lives would be harder if we didn't use it. I was excited about the possibilities, and went out (with toddlers in tow, naturally) to check it out.

But there was a catch. Two, really.

First, someone had once lived and died in these rooms. If we were going to use them, I would have to clean them out. They weren't gory or unsanitary, but they were full of stuff - blankets, papers, clothes, pictures. Reminders of someone I  loved who was now gone.

Second, the walkway ran between the row of rooms and a swimming pool. The pool had no fence or rail. My kids could easily fall in at any time.

In the dream, I had to make a choice. Was I willing to walk with my kids past that pool every single day to make better use of our house? Would I gather the belongings of deceased loved ones to make room for a sunlit, spacious future?

I woke up to a day I'd dreaded for weeks. My priest had asked me to speak in front of my church's leadership team about my marriage. He had a good reason for the request, and he was quick to say (over and over) I was not on trial, I did not need to defend any decisions I'd made, and I was already a  valued and respected part of our community. But our leadership team needed to make a decision that could affect my family, and they wanted to be sure they were genuinely honoring us. In order to know if they were doing the right thing, they needed to hear more of our story.

I was scared to death, friends.


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