Something at First Sight

At the end of the major street that split the subdivision, was a lake.  Next to the lake, were ball parks, a playground with picnic areas, a golf course and a sailing club.  When school was out, ball was on.  So, being healthy 15 and 16 year-old girls, we climbed in Mikayla’s massive family wagon (In my new color block top that had the tie on the side.) and headed down to the ball park.

All the usual suspects were there.  And someone new to me.

He was taking our dollar at the gate and selling the cokes.  Red hair, exceptional medium build.  Eyes.  Eyes forever. My heart still squeezes.

We hadn’t even been seated in the bleachers for five minutes, when someone told Mikayla he wanted to talk to me.

Being so young and so unused to that kind of attention, I didn’t leap right up and run over.

The game had barely gotten underway, but Mikayla was soooooo boy-crazy, she wouldn’t even leave me alone.  So it was get up the nerve or be gnawed to death by Mik, I had my choice.  I went with getting up and walking over there.

I went to the concession stand and waited quietly; while a BUNCH of our friends bought candy, interspersed with people who weren’t nosy; they wanted a snack.

Then some people came and needed to pay their dollars to get in.

Then he had to go unlock something.

Finally, he was free to chat a bit.

I stood there in the shade of the concession stand.  Our eyes met and held.  It felt promise-y and comfortable as broken in jeans.  Not silly or self-conscious.  Seen.

We’d barely started to talk, when Mikayla had to leave.

When we got in the car, she jabbered away in her usual style.  Completely unaware.  You didn’t tell her anything remotely confidential.

His family was moving.

That week.

I guess they must have.

That was 1982.

 

 

 

Prescription for Trust

It’s frightening to be diagnosed with something real.  It’s more frightening to stop eating and sleeping and know you should both eat and sleep, but not feel the hunger or the exhaustion.  Still more terrifying, is to have felt a moment of sheer joy…

And lose it in a chemical cocktail…  The first prescription locked me out at the top of the range of emotion and focus and energy.  The second, has me locked out at the bottom.

I can’t think about myself.  I sat in a conversation the other day, and I couldn’t take the question: “What is God emptying you of and what is He filling you with?”; and apply it to myself.  I could understand the answers others gave, but I couldn’t answer it for myself.

I apologized to my sisters for sitting in silence in a very personal and vulnerable conversation(as I am typically a sharer, a feeder back and a verbal processor); because I didn’t want my silence to be attributed to anger or offense.  And I began to cry.  Well, now.  If I can’t complete a thought as it applies to my own heart, mind, and spirit.  What am I crying about?

Fear?  There is actually no middle ground between mania and misery. I can understand you, but I am a stranger to myself.  I can’t connect.

Anger?  This is the very reason I’ve avoided doctors and diagnosis for years.

So…

I go to the auditorium.  There, waiting for the good stuff to begin, is a new friend– the one  I just wanted to get to know because she’s raised such remarkable children.  She stopped me and asked me how I was doing.

I broke down.  I was so embarrassed.  I am still today, 4 days later.  So weak.  So out of control.  At this point, so ugly, as this was my second cry in an hour.

She understood.  She knew what I was going through.

She took me by both arms and stared me in the eyes and said, “God is with you.  He is with you.”  Over and over.

I locked on her eyes.

I’ve seen them all week, when I’ve heard her words.

I can see them now.

It was only this morning(or last night, I’m really not sure.  It was dark.), that I understood them.

I cannot feel anything.  I cannot do any higher order thinking.  I cannot connect on anything deeper than surface level (Hi, you are wearing a red shirt today.).

God is still here.

He hears my hunger for connection.  He knows I remember the spiritual moments I had when I could feel thankfulness, intimacy, and delight.  He knows that the memory is slipping away. Even though, I can’t even think or reason or decide or pray–He is still here and still actively protecting me and providing for me and the ones I am supposed to be caring for who shouldn’t be having to take so much care of me.

He is here.  He knows my thoughts and my lying down and my going out.

He is here with me, right now.

It turns out she understands better than I do myself.

She’s been through it and had to learn that the hard way, I guess.

So I stare back in those sparkling eyes.  And drop into her aching arms.

To wait until My Deliverer passes by.

 

 

 

For Once It’s About Me{me}!

Lady Jennie @ A Lady in France was so gracious as to invite readers to join her in answering the questions she wanted the answers to.    Because I worship her from afar, literally  am the laziest stalker ever like her so much, I am joining up.

1. What’s your guilty pleasure? You know what I mean? What do you do that you know is probably not the wisest thing for you but you can’t seem to help yourself?

It’s coffee, I could almost cut and paste Lady Jennie’s answer to this question.  Though, her cup is prettier than mine.  I have cut back so seriously, since August, that my kids have noticed I’m nicer.  And commented.  Dang.

less attractive vessel for drinking

2. Have you ever been able to overcome a bad habit? If so, how?

No. {See number one}.

The habits that I’ve broken don’t seem that bad.  And the bad ones won’t break.  Or I don’t care enough, yet. (I hate blogging.  It’s like a freaking mirror on my heart and motives.) [I really love it.  I just say a lot of mean things.]

3. What’s your first memory?

Looking out the window of the farmhouse to the dirt road.  I don’t know how young I was, but just tall enough to look out the window.  Probably could place my chin on the sill.  It was late fall or winter.  The sky was gray.  The road was red.  The wind was blowing.  It was in Oklahoma, of course, the wind was blowing.  It was beautiful to me.

4. Have you ever had an experience with a ghost?

I’d like to think so.  We’ve had a few poltergeist type things happen in this house.  They’ve always preceded emotional cataclysm with the twins.  Which is what poltergeists love.  Remove the emotional charge, remove the activity.

One time, my husband, son, and I were in the back of the house, and we heard a knock on the door at about 7:00 a.m. I went to the door because I was dressed and the others were still bedhead.  There was no one there.  No one in the street.  No one along the sidewalk.  It had been an assertive and unmistakable knock.

Another time, the family was moving around the house doing their own chores.  At one point, one of my daughters and I stopped in the living room at the same time.  Movement caught our eye and we looked up.  The living room fixture was spinning lazily.  Back and forth.  This fixture has been hanging since 1920.  It doesn’t move when both powerfully strong girls are dancing in the very room.

During a really horrible time…before I knew what was going on, our house was surrounded by cats.  Wailing, howling, spraying, screeching.  Day and night.  Nights were especially horrible.  Neighbors speculated that a feral colony was migrating.  Whatever.  They were aggressively inhabiting our porch and storage area and it was nearly impossible to sleep.  This lasted a couple of weeks.  Animal control would bring me a trap when they had one free– in about six weeks.  One night, tucking my daughter in bed, I looked at her face and for a flash thought, “She’s dying.”  My baby was transfigured into a macabre visage.  In two more days, a dark secret was exposed to the light.  The cats were gone that day and never returned.

5. Have you ever had a significant dream? One that came true, or one that meant something to you?

No, my husband has the significant dreams.  I interpret.

My grandmother often dreamed of a house– large and empty, not a home.  I’ve had a house dream a couple of times.

Mostly, my perception stuff happens in waking.  I frequently awake at exactly 5:22.  It started when the girls were 3 years-old.  In the last few years, I note the time in the evening at that time, as well.  I’m hoping one day to know why.  I have a friend who has the same thing at a different time.

6. What’s your most embarrassingly funny memory, and if you dare, your embarrassingly embarrassing memory?

Weird…I have a fart story, too.  I was standing in the store that sells baseball caps.  Paying for a cap for my husband.  The clerk and his buddy, who was “hanging-out-in-the-cap-store-at-the-mall-because-he-was-a-winner-that’s-why”, were standing there, and while the guy prcoessed my check there rose around me a stink such as the world had not known.  If evil has a funk, this was it.  Grease and Sin.  I gagged.  I made eye contact.  They froze.  Perhaps they didn’t yet know whether their buddy had served it up.  Never ever in my life before or since have I delivered one that bad.

That’s copying, though.  When I was a junior in high school, I fell asleep in U.S. History.  I drooled on my desk.  When I awoke, I was lying in a puddle the size of the desktop.  My hair was wet and my arms and body were keeping it from DRIPPING OFF THE DESK.  I couldn’t move until class ended, in order to keep others from seeing it.  I have no memory of how it was resolved.  I vaguely remember telling the teacher.

7. Alright moving on to more distinguished topics. Favorite book. Why is it your favorite?

I hate this question.  I am like the little boy who was an optimist…when he there was only a heap of manure under the tree on Christmas morning, he leaped upon it and started digging.  When someone asked him what he was doing, he replied, “Pile of shit poopie this big?  Gotta be a pony in here somewhere!!!”

I can never remember the book that held me by the heart in shock that I was finished and it was over.  Because I didn’t just dig through…I closely examined a lot of individual… [lightheaded; head between knees] turds.

Books that have made me sob:  Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls;  Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Eliot;

8. Last question – most romantic. At what precise moment did you know your spouse/partner was “the one?”

Looking back, I think the first moment I saw him was a sign.  I’m not saying a shaft of light came out of heaven and the angels sang, but there was definitely a jolt. I didn’t believe in that kind of nonsense and didn’t see him for some time, but he called me once just to see how I was doing. Another six months passed before I saw him on my way out of town and he asked me out.

I’m sure Lady Jennie would be delighted for you to stop by and participate as well.

 

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