There is a conversation from the movie, “While You Were Sleeping” that I often think of. The conversation is between the late Peter Boyle’s character and Bill Pullman’s character. It goes like this:
Peter Boyle: “Life is a pain in the ass. l´ll tell ya. You know? You work hard, try to provide for the family, and then, for one minute, everything´s good. Everyone´s well. Everyone´s happy. ln– ln that one minute, you have peace.”
Bill Pullman: “Pop, this isn´t that minute.”
This has been my life the past few months. Life has been that proverbial pain for the past few years, but, in that time I have had seasons of peace, hope and encouragement. The past few months, well, it is sort of like eating a wonderfully sweet chocolate cupcake and washing it down with tart lemonade. It just doesn’t set right. It makes you uneasy.
This has been a summer unlike any other in recent history. Nothing is right. I am watching my husband deal with situations with his brothers that should have been dealt with years ago. They weren’t dealt with, and it built up and now we are in our hometown for an extended period trying to undo years of build up.
I see my youngest who is a wonderful mother and wife and that part is great. She has that one minute of peace, for the most part. For the most part, except she is struggling with career issues. Nothing to panic about, but, still issues that make her life complicated and hard for her.
My oldest is dealing with things that complicate her life. I hear in her voice concern, and I am trying to be there for her, but these are things she is dealing with.
In fact, all around me are things that others that I love and care about are dealing with. I truly cannot help anyone. I can’t make anything better. I would like to smack some heads , but, in the long run, that would not help anything or anyone.
I am frustrated, and uneasy. My nature is to nurture, and help, and fix things. I have no tool belt to fix any of the situations this summer. There is no fine print in my mother’s contract or my marriage contract that can direct me on how to ‘repair’ any of this.
I am useless. Yes, I know there is support in the way of conversation and fixing food and washing clothes and prayer. I have done all of this.
Dear hubby has told me over and over his quote for situations like this, “Worry is like an ugly dog, it looks worse coming, than going.” I get what he means, but, somehow, that just doesn’t cut it.
Again, hubby has quoted the wise counsel of my younger sister, “Will this matter in six months?” Usually, I look at him and say, ‘No,’ because I know that even in six weeks something else will come along and all of my current thoughts will have been long forgotten. When hubby asked me the other day the question about six months from now, I thought for a moment and was truthful. The truth being that in six months some of this will still matter to me. He asked if it would still matter in a year. That, I did not know, and told him so.
What has struck me about all of this, is that although I am an easy-going person who can roll with the punches, I have found that this summer, I cannot. Each roll of the punch feels like it is a stomach punch. It hits hard and the pain lingers.
I know that there are seasons in life where pain is constant. Things happen and life happens. I have had these experiences before. It’s not that I fight it, because that makes no sense to do that. It is just that sometimes there are constant reminders of what is happening in your world, and sometimes joy is absent from those situations. Are these bad times? No. I don’t believe they are bad, just difficult. I know that growth, personal, emotional and spiritual all come in hard times. That is a good thing.
What has made this season difficult is I am not among my own things. I am not in my home, my kitchen, my laundry room. I am removed from those who would encourage me with hugs and distractions. I am in my hometown that has reminders of my life all around me. A life I left almost forty years ago.
So, I go on. Uneasy. Close to tears, always. I keep thinking of the story I have heard often in church, how the eagle stirs the nest when she wants her eaglet to take flight. It is in reference to Deuteronomy 32:11,
“He was like an eagle hovering over its nest,
overshadowing its young,
Then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air,
teaching them to fly.“
Underneath all that I am feeling, I have a sneaking suspicion that I am once more learning to fly. It is my hope that this is what it is, because sometimes I am feeling like I might have fallen out of a nest high up and the ground is approaching sooner than I am ready for.
I know this was not a short, light-hearted post. Thank you for sticking with it, if in fact you did. This is what has churned in my mind while not writing this summer. It was what was tied up in my post about words and the effect they have on you. Sometimes in life you hear words uttered that you never wanted to hear and once you do hear them they echo about, bouncing on your thoughts and again you eat a chocolate cupcake and drink some lemonade. Uneasy.
Thanks for stopping by, DAF