The other evening my husband and I were driving to the grocery store as the sun began to go down. It is March in Central Texas which means that the evenings are cool and the sun goes down slowly painting the sky with beautiful colors. It also goes down at a decent time, not at 4 in the afternoon like in the fall. This is the time of year where you can see Texans coming out of their houses to work in their yards or in their garages. Families are walking down the sidewalks breathing in the fresh cool air full of pollen that will attempt to murder you if you do not take you allergy meds. It is the time of the year where I think about the words in Genesis describing God having fellowship with Adam and Eve “in the cool of the evening”.
This particular evening a few days ago I felt as if God did just that as I sat in my husband’s truck watching the annual Texan “let’s get out of the house” fest.
A song came on the radio right about the time that I was looking out the window looking at all the pretty reds in the sky. At first I wasn’t really paying attention to the song but then a memory popped in my mind of another time in my life when I was hearing the same words, only that time they were coming from a jukebox. I was sitting in a bar singing the words to this song with tears streaming down my face because the guy I was pining over* was out with his actual girlfriend, which was not me. I was in a bar with my best friend Homie, putting sad songs in the jukebox and taking every shot of tuaca handed to me as I sobbed.
This time, I was in a truck with my husband having survived the absolute worst year of my life. Life is totally different now. I am totally different now. I do not even recognize the woman in that memory. I wasn’t a woman actually. The truth is, I was an abandoned child. I was that abandoned child all of my life until I walked into the office of a therapist who helped me figure that out. All of my heartbreak, all of my bad choices, all of my tears were all a product of that fact. Slowly I was able to begin to heal and repair a little of what had been done to me in my life and that helped me to withstand the suicide of my oldest child and the nightmare of having to bury him in a grave. That funeral was the final step in stripping myself to my core. There was nothing left of my old life when I walked away from it.
In that last year I have faced my greatest fear, which was losing one of my children in the worst, most traumatic and soul crushing way possible. I have not always faced it with grace or courage but I have faced it. I have not faced it alone either. I have the most amazing support system that includes a therapist and four amazing priests. I have my husband who I love, get angry at, want to throw things at and who I could never imagine living without even when I am at my angriest and most fed up with him not ever knowing what direction he’s going. I have wonderful kids, even the one who died by suicide and my grand-kids are everything to me. I have great friends and an overall great and amazing life. I get to drive down the road listening to country songs that once had me feeling abandoned by my father, God and everyone else as I hold hands with the guy I have loved since I was twelve years old. He doesn’t know how to find a way out of a paper bag, but he found a way back into my life after seventeen years so that had to be God.
I listened to the words of this song and realized that I am finally at the point in my life where this verse is true:
Someday I’m gonna run across your mind
Don’t worry, I’ll be fine
I’m gonna be alright
While you’re sleeping with your pride
Wishin’ I could hold you tight
I’ll be over you
And on with my life
And how beautiful that life is. Grief, loss, heartache, God, Love, Faith, Hope and all. I am so grateful to be here where God comes in the cool of the evening to fellowship with me.
*Not the man I’m married to now.