Friday, April 11, 2014

Praise the Lord and Pass the Potatoes: I'm Back!

And so it's April of 2014.  The last time I even visited Momma to Momma was nine months ago.  My excuse?  I can only say that some things take awhile to come back.

I had a friend once, a Cub Scout mom and a huge crafter.  My friend lost her baby boy.  She never returned to Scouting or crafting.  In the first months after my dear one's accident, life regained its busy pace--everybody went to a camp or two; I studied Appalachian culture at a local university; we got the dogs and a cat fixed; the bills rolled in and money flew out; we bought groceries; we planned a wedding; we deposited our girl in college; we fought off the wolves howling at the door; we sat around campfire after campfire and grinned at each other because we still had the right amount of kids.  God had graciously allowed us to keep our daughter.  Anyone peeping in would think our lives were exactly the same as they had been before her accident, that while we had nearly unraveled last May, we were all wound into a perfectly together ball of family again.  We even thought so.

Sometime last Fall, it hit me that I had not written a poem in a long time.  I had not flipped on the karaoke that's always set up in the kitchen.  I had not slept a whole night through.  I had not attempted even one tiny piece of art.  I had not watched a movie without nodding off.  I had not finished a novel, jumped on the trampoline, napped, surprised my husband, or journaled anything (not my Bible studying, my feelings nor my project ideas).  I was distracted by what ifs.  Hyper-vigilance set in.  I needed to know where every one of the children was at all times.  I asked them to call me when they went someplace, answer the phone if I rang it, and call me the second they got where they were going.  I stayed awake nights until I could place each child on the proper shelf.  I tried to reason the law of averages but to no avail.  Sometimes tragedies are visited upon the same people multiple times.  That law does not really apply to situations involving horrible, life-altering events.  If I thought about our daughter's accident, my brain followed an ever-deepening groove back to the moment my cell rang and all I could hear was her friend screaming on the other end of the line.

It has taken months of baby steps to allow my adult children to live their own lives without reporting to me constantly.  I still need to hear their beautiful voices every day or two.  Each time I push through a potentially dangerous time without calling or cautioning, I move a wee bit closer to being better than I was before.  Some might say I should seek counseling.  I am seeking God.  Mighty Counselor.  And it's working, because here I am.

In the past couple months I have written two poems, slept through the night, made several tiny pieces of art, watched a movie without nodding off, finished a novel, napped and journaled.  I have also started a graduate program in Geography.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go flip on the karaoke--gonna spend my evening as Janis, Patsy, and so many of my musical heroes in between.  Busted flat in Baton Rouge...

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