It is Well, and yet Not

I held a sobbing child in my arms last night for the first time in a very long time.  I held her close and just let the tears go, with salty bitterness and nose running all down my shoulder.   There were no soothing words to comfort, no back patting to help calm.  Hold her.  That’s all I could do.  I held her until she loosed her grip and let go.  I held her hands in mine, and kissed them.  I took her face close to mine and kissed it.  I whispered “I love you” in her ear.

The beautiful, distraught child was mine.  She will be 18 exactly 13  days from now. She stands an inch-and-a-half taller than me, but in her Doc Martens it is near to 3 inches.  And last night she was my little girl who needed her Momma all over again.  I sat next to her as she, as we, her Dad and I too, attended a funeral.

This was an unexpected funeral, and a tragic one at that, as many tend to be. The service was for a 17 year-old high school Junior who died by her own hand.  Vivi was a friend of SugarBug’s from church.  Being close in age they went through many of the same church programs together starting in the nursery as infants. They have known each other their whole lives but didn’t develop a friendship until both were in high school youth group together.  It was there they bonded over similar music tastes, distaste for conventional trendy fashion and a love for Jesus.

I’ve known Vivi and her parents just as long.  I worked in the church nursery as a Supervisor in charge of one of the rooms when she was born.  Her dad was SonnyBoy’s guitar teacher for a short time.  Her mother and I connected through women’s ministry, and various other ways we had volunteered over the years.

Our girls had another connection: depression.

There are few things in this world I truly hate, and by “hate” I mean I wish it never existed anywhere, anytime in this world.   And I HATE depression.  It is a sinister quiet little devil of a thing.  People who suffer with it look like nothing is wrong with them, at least most of the time.  And those fighting it aren’t always immediately aware when it is getting worse.  Outsiders don’t always realize that something has changed with the person caught in its grip. Sometimes the depressed don’t see it right away either — and they are the ones living with it.  It moves slowly, so slowly that it can be weeks or months before it is recognized as having taken hold.

And sometimes it moves at lightning speed.

Maybe that’s what happened with Vivi, that lightning speed onslaught of darkness.  Only she knows, and she isn’t here to tell us.

I can’t blame her — at least I don’t want to blame her — for taking her own life.  The whispers of self-loathing telling me the world would be a better place, that I would be in a better place, that no one would really miss me all that much, to ‘go ahead, do it’ have been all too familiar. LIES!  Those are all lies.

I want to scream at the top of my lungs. Cursing won’t do any good, and it won’t change anything, and it won’t make me feel any better.  It never does.  Blaming her parents is the absolute wrong thing to do.  Vivi’s dad made sure to have Pastor tell the attendees of the service that no one loved his girl as much or as fiercely as her mother did.

I love my girl fiercely, too.  I am afraid that she has heard those terrible whispered lies in the quiet recesses of her mind.  I am afraid.  And I hate being afraid.  I don’t think she is in any real danger of self-harm. But …I know this age and stage in life makes her extremely vulnerable.  I am  certain she struggles to see beyond being 19 or 20 years old. Anything much past that is just.so.old.

I want her to not just grow up, but grow old.  At Vivi’s funeral our Youth Ministry director said she always thought Vivi would grow up to be one of the coolest adults: independent, artistic, poetic, unfettered by the norms that keep adults so ‘adult.’  I could see that.  And sadly we none of us will get a chance to actually see that.

The night before the funeral during the visitation time Vivi’s mom took my girl in her arms, remembered her by name, and held her tight.  They clung to each other — my daughter in grief, the grieving mother in relief that her child was remembered by a friend. She told my girl how much hers had loved her, how she looked forward to seeing her at youth group, how she loved and admired SugarBug for being SugarBug, and doing it so boldly.

So my sweet girl, continue to go boldly into adulthood.  No matter how old you get you will always have my shoulder to cry on. And make Vivi proud by being one of the coolest adults on the planet, and love Jesus the whole while.

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is Well with My Soul, Horatio G Spafford, 1873

Well, whadduya know?

I guess when they say things on the internet stay around forever, they really mean it.

Case in point: this blog.  It has been left unattended for 4 years (when and how did that go by so fast?) and it’s here, just like I left it. I had to request a password reset because I forgot it — not a clue, completely gone, forgot it.

And I think it’s time to tend it again.  So much to say, so much time has passed and so many exciting things coming up.

There’s Just Never Enough Time

Lately, it seems, I just don’t have enough time to get any amount of productive work done. I’ve been “time challenged” for long while now, and even my top speed is still slower than most.

Just today I had a deadline for getting some letters ready to be mailed (there were 180+ of them, by the way), and I had to make more copies of its contents in order to finish. I talked to my DH for some reason that escapes me right now, and he started to take on a very patronizing tone about the task at hand and my inability to keep track of time. He kept repeating himself, and I was starting to get mad. Even now, it’s starting to make my blood roil (grrrr…rr). He kept repeating himself, to the effect of “Are you going to be done on time?..Other people are counting on you, they trusted you to get this done for them, you know…Are you sure you’ll be able to get it there on time?” All I could say was, “I know.”

When I got off the phone, one of the kids said to me “What is it that you know? You kept saying ‘I know, I know.'”

Yes, I know, okay?! I KNOW! I know! Now leave me alone! Sheesh! I am not a 10 year old; I don’t like being talked to like one. I don’t like being reminded of my faults on a regular basis. I don’t like being reminded that I’m “time challenged”. No Sam I AM, I do not like it here, or there. I do not like it with a dish, or a fish. I do not like it Sam I Am, I do not like it one little bit! I can’t like it with a train, or with a plane, because apparently, according to some I’d miss the whole stinking trip!!

There are other things I’d rather be talking about here tonight, because I have precious little time to sit and write, but this is just sitting here, stuck in my craw and I have to rant and stomp my blogging feet. I’m sure he meant well, but…

On top of that, Sonny Boy came home from Girlfriend’s house and wanted to know what I needed the car for, for the next day. He started to sound a little like his Dad for a second or two. He needs to be to his baseball game by a certain time, see—7:00PM actually—and had to make sure I’d be home in plenty of time so he could use the car. He didn’t say anything like “Mom can you drive me?” It was, “What do you need the car for tomorrow? I have my game tomorrow night.” (Emphasis mine) Just the way he said it made me think back a few hours to the phone conversation with DH. I’m trying not to read too much into what Sonny Boy was saying, he just wants to be on time.

It seems to most of my household, I can’t be trusted with that. Sad thing is, they may be right. But I still don’t like it, to be late or to be talked to that way.

Am I really that bad?

No Time for This

A friend of mine just TAGGED me with a “ONE WORD” game. This is just so not fair!

I’m sitting here eating a plate of leftover green beans and hashbrown casserole ( I didn’t want to cook) from a MOPS dinner earlier in the week, trying to check emails and see if anyone had donated to my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser. I was going to quick look up the 4 mile run I created on Map My Run and go head out. But no, I had to get tagged! And being the kind who loves to play games I had to read it.

I’m not going to repost the game–yet. I am going to go for my run, and then try to get some fundraising done. After that, I’m going to find a way to fill the rest of my afternoon before getting ready for a date with my DH. We’re going to dinner with friends and then see Spamalot! THAT I will make time for.

I’ll get you for this Rain. I don’t know how; I don’t know when– but I’ll tag you with something and it’s going to mess with your plans too. [cue sinister laugh: bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha]