Remember when you were a little kid and you would bump your head into the coffee table or skin your knee or something? It would hurt, but you would pretty much be ok if your mom didn't seem too worried. If you hurt yourself and your mom looked at all panicked, well, that was a different story. You probably immediately started crying. When the person who usually tells you that everything is going to be ok doesn't look like everything's ok it can really do a number on you. I mean, not to compare skinned knees with Jesus' crucifixion or anything, but I can't imagine how panicked Jesus' followers must have been when He's getting arrested and tortured and crucified. The One who set others free now a prisoner. That must have been seriously terrifying for them.
Dealing with my dad's dementia was horrible. I hated to see him suffer. I hated what the disease did to him. I hated all of it. What made it worse though, was to see my mom, his wife, suffer along with him. To see someone empathize so vividly and prolifically was both inspiring and heartbreaking.
I thought when my dad died, the anxiety and stress I carried about the situation would die with him. I was wrong. I mean, not totally. I don't worry in the same way like I used to. Every time my phone rings I'm not thinking, "I wonder what has happened with dad this time?" Has he fallen, has he hurt himself? No, those calls don't come anymore. Now I worry in a different way. How does my mom, married to a man for all of her adult life, deal with such a loss? If I'm honest, though, my motivations are more selfish. I don't really worry if she'll be ok. I worry if I'll be ok. Like the kid with the skinned knee and a worried mom.
If mom cries, what in the world am I supposed to do? I'm not really sure at this point. I'll let you know if come up with something. -Chad
Life really does go on, even if you think it shouldn’t. Surely the norms of life should stop, at least for a respectable time after an ordeal that changed your life forever. But, alas, it does not stop. You look around and see people living their lives as if nothing has happened. “What should they be doing?” You probe your befuddled reasoning, it was a foolish thought you conclude.
Perhaps that is the plan. Life and lives must move on and the choice is up to you whether to tentatively move back in or stay on the sidelines nursing the temptation to self-pity, self-indulgence and self-absorption. Now any reasonable person willingly gives the grief-stricken a certain amount of time to ‘break out’ of the feelings of anguish but how do you know when you are personally ready for this ‘breaking out party?” Trial and error; “… a way of achieving an aim or solving a problem by trying different methods and learning from your mistakes.” You try something (and it may turn into a trial) and ultimately be an error but at least you’ll have a better gauge as to where you are on this on-going path of discovery and recovery.
I have personally engaged in this trial and error method and found it to be quite advantageous as I grasp for truth amid this volatile voyage. I regularly turn my eyes to heaven and ask God very personal questions; “Am I doing okay?” “Am I processing appropriately?” “Am I moving at the right speed toward acceptance of this new (albeit, unsolicited) life?” Answers are not forthcoming but rather a subtle sense of well-being that engulfs me and I instinctively know I will keep moving forward…that’s enough for today.
The stanza from this easily identified prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread…” now takes on a new and poignant meaning.
“Am I doing okay?” “Yes,” for this moment, I’m okay and that is enough.