What’s saving my life this week.

What’s saving my life this week. July 27, 2012

This week my friend Sarah Bessey asked the question at her blog: What’s saving your life right now?

Pawpaw and Memaw, with my aunt Rita in 1947

Grief is a strange thing, isn’t it? It’s so deep and wild and untamable. And it wakes up whenever it wants to and leaves you with your face in your hands in the dark bedroom on the side of the bed while your kids in the other room watch a show (again). We all loved my grandfather. He was a special man. And his loss has cut me deeper than I expected it to. I guess that’s usually how it goes, right?

So what’s saving my life this week has been good Texas Baptist family meals. One after another: friends of my grandmothers, friends of my parents, friends of my brothers have been bringing food to my grandmother’s house. So. Much. Food. All of it organized by my amazing sister-in-law Aimee and carb-loaded and just the way Baptists are supposed to eat when they lose their patriarch:

Fried chicken and potato casserole, green bean casserole and homemade mac and cheese, bread bread and more bread. Ham and corn and more green beans. Strawberry cake and chocolate cake and yellow cake with chocolate icing and brownies and cookies and red velvet cupcakes. And the chance to have long conversations about Pawpaw at the table with our Styrofoam plates and my cousins across the table.

What’s saving my life is the long hugs shared with cousins who I’ve barely seen in years but who understand how deep this loss is.

What’s saving my life are the dear friends of my grandparents from the Ex-POW club in Amarillo who honored my grandfather by wearing their matching POW vests and saluting his casket. They cried with my grandmother, even the men. And I’m grateful for the way they love her.

What’s saving my life are my father’s tears.

What’s saving my life this week was the four-police escort and the way Amarillo folks know the kindness of stopping their cars along the road and honoring the faceless grievers in their cars.

What’s saving my life this week was the presentation of the flag to my grandmother by the military and Taps played behind us at the graveside. Honor is saving my life right now: the way they honored my grandmother, the way they honored my grandfather.

What’s saving my life this week is that I have two brothers who know how we loved him. I haven’t gotten to cry with them often in my life, but this week I have. And how can I not call that a gift?

What’s saving my life this week is my husband who loved my grandfather too, who cried all the way to the graveside and couldn’t get out the words to tell August why Pawpaw was so special the police had come to help us drive to the cemetery.

What’s saving my life right now are my brothers’ words they offered in the eulogy. Never have I heard such honor given, never such beauty in a funeral service.

What’s saving my life this week was Brooksie sleeping from 7 to 7 last night and giving me 9 hours of deep sleep.

I’m back home in Austin today. Thanks for praying for us this week. Your prayers have been saving my life.

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