Moms Columns & Blogs

Faith and Hope

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The teardrops just keep falling…  At least they no longer erupt like a violent thunderstorm, accompanied by lashing winds, streaks of lightning and torrential rain.  These last few days they have been more like scattered showers; the onset is sudden, maybe heavy, sometimes light, occurring at random intervals, never lasting long, but always in the area, threatening to burst forth…  

I am trying hard to absorb this monumental change and not go crazy in the process.  At least I think I haven’t gone completely bonkers yet…but some of the thoughts that sneak in while I’m distracted…maybe I have and just don’t know it yet.  When the view outside your window appears to go on so effortlessly, like always, while everything you do is strange and exhausting, you start to question all of it, no matter how great or small.  Every step is forced, every smile is fake, every decision uncertain.  If this ambivalence is to be part and parcel of my new normal, I am in big trouble.  

We have forgotten how to behave around each other; at times it seems that all we have in common nowadays is our shared loss.  The old boundaries and norms have collapsed under the staggering weight of our grief; whatever was a ‘given’ before June 12th is no longer understood.  Our dynamic has to be different now, but it gets really old changing to suit the volatile moods around me. Either I am a chameleon or I have developed multiple personas… I wear so many disguises…at times I am a peacemaker, sometimes a politician and frequently a preacher…I have no idea who I am at any given moment…  I am doing none of this very well.  I am struggling to have patience, something that has never been my long suit anyway…  The little that is left of the old me is spread so thin that it is practically nonexistent.  Maybe I just need to take heed, and be still for a while…  

After dealing with my dazed, damaged and confused family, mere conversations with friends and colleagues take so much out of me that it seems easier not to talk.  I have to keep my cell phone on silent at all times; hearing it ring triggers a fresh round of anxiety and nervousness.  I recently started returning calls only when I am feeling up to it, which isn’t often.  I hate the thought of being a downer or extinguishing someone’s happiness.  Honestly, how many times am I going to respond with ‘We’re hanging on’ before people give up and stop asking?  I hope and have faith that one day my answer will be different, but for now, it is what it is.  I don’t have the capacity to pretend that it is otherwise or to try and gloss it over.  We are suffering greatly; I’m not trying to project it onto others, but this simple fact I cannot conceal…  

So many kids still stop in and visit; I love hearing their stories and memories.  I have learned a great deal about Brian’s life outside of our parental purview during the last few years.  I never held the illusion that he was perfect; actually, I figured he was quite typical of boys his age, which has been confirmed many times over.  I understand how hard it is for some of them to drop by…  I have talked with enough of these teens to realize that they are just like Grace, unwilling and unable to face what has happened yet...  I am candidly sharing my thoughts and feelings, wanting to keep the lines of communication open, but it is a dual edged sword…  I suspect that many are choosing to cope in less than healthy ways, but I know nothing definitive…  A few are holding it all inside, not speaking of it to anyone…  One young woman recently sent me a message via Facebook, asking why things never work out right…  My answer was brief…  ‘I have no inspired words for why things don’t go right; the challenge is to keep going on, staying positive, and being fearless in facing whatever comes next, in spite of it all.  That’s where faith and hope come in…’  

This is especially true on days like today when despair threatens to blind me to the many blessings that still abound…    

By request, I will be re-posting the old blogs under a consolidated archive header this weekend.  Wishing you hope… TG   

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator    

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