Still here, living life day by day. Two weeks and one or two days left with our girl. I have found a good support group of foster and adoptive parents that meets once a month at the church down the block and truly understands the extent of the loss we are experiencing. We have such a large network of friends and family that are offering help constantly. The only problem is that I don’t really know how they can help. Lots of people have offered to have the boys over to play, but being with them is one of the best distractions I have.
I am adding up all the great things I’m going to “be able to do” once Midge has left. I’m going to get up early to have my own prayer time, something that I dropped when I started doing bible reading with the boys at breakfast, which I also dropped when I got mad at God for taking Midge away. So bringing back my prayer time, the boys’ bible reading at breakfast, which I will have woken early enough to make healthy and nutritious. I will get back onto doing my Spanish Rosetta Stone and figure out some other ways to boost my Spanish practice. And I will keep the house clean with all my spare time. And start playing tennis with my friend again. And take up walking in the mornings for fitness and plan my meal menu again and shop for the right ingredients so I’m not scrambling a half hour before dinner. And I’m going to get involved with my quilt guild again, something I do love and haven’t made time for. And I’m going to make outdoor exploration, hiking, experiences etc. a regular part of our lives again. And I’ve been thinking about practicing piano while the boys are at school, as their new piano lessons have inspired me.
So in conclusion, we will be well fed both physically and spiritually, our house will be clean and bilingual and full of music, and I will be fit and our family will be back into nature. Okay. That’s settled. It will be all sunshine and perfection around here. ha ha ha.
But when a friend comments about how much free time I’ll have when Midge leaves I feel like I’ve been slapped. What a horrible thing to say. And I know she meant it as encouragement and in love…she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. It reminds me of what C.S. Lewis said in A Grief Observed, about friends not knowing what to say, italics mine.
“I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not. I hate it if they do, and if they don’t. Some funk it altogether. R. has been avoiding me for a week. I like best the well brought-up young men, almost boys, who walk up to me as if I were a dentist, turn very red, get it over, and then edge away to the bar as quickly as they decently can. Perhaps the bereaved ought to be isolated in special settlements like lepers.”
I can understand that. I can stand at the park with my friend whose son might have cancer and we can understand one another. (Praise God, the test came back negative since this encounter!) With my friend who is going through a divorce, I can see eye to eye. Great hurt unites us with others who hurt and can divide us from those who don’t, or haven’t in a long time. Grief and loss bring with them a compassion for others that might not be acquired in any other way. I don’t know.
If anything, our circumstances have brought us to recognize the hurt in others around us more acutely than before. Or maybe they are more willing to open up to us about their hurt because they see that we are hurt, too. Either way, an increase in compassion is a good thing. But please don’t tell me that maybe that’s why God is doing all of this. I think that’s one big lesson I’ve learned: if someone wants to see the silver lining on their own gray cloud, that’s one thing. But don’t try to point it out to them. They’d much rather just have blue skies.