I keep thinking about how I want to come here and tell you thank you. I want to express how grateful I am for the kindness of loved ones and strangers and how all of it has reminded me that there is good in the world.
And then, before I get a chance to flex my fingers over the keyboard, a word or phrase or fleeting thought knocks me back into a sea of sorrow. And I can no longer stomach the thought of lauding all that is right in the world.
I’ve been tempted a time or two to come here and tell you about the way the boundaries of time have slipped away, leaving me lost in a bizarre fog. I want to weep with you for the broken heart of my mother and range against the fairness of justice.
And then, before I can gather my thoughts enough to share them, I find I am laughing at my husband’s excitement over my upcoming “surprise” birthday party. And I can no longer imagine putting a fine point on pain.
Life is so strange right now.
I had to tell my children that their uncle did a very bad thing and then I went to Iowa to show him that he is still loved, and take care of their Nana. And while that was heartbreaking, it’s also exhilarating and comforting to be with them again. They still giggle and roll their eyes and throw their arms around me every morning.
I check in with my mother regularly to see “how she’s doing”. And while she has told me at times that she’s barely hanging on, she’s also threatened to spank me via gtalk for trying to figure out my what my birthday present is. She’s laughed with me over jokes that are far too inappropriate to share with decent people.
I should be happy right now. Jared and my friends have been plotting some birthday extravaganza for this weekend, and it’s impossible not to get caught up in the excitement. My darling Becky is, as I type this, en route to my house after booking a last minute flight to Orlando just days ago. A sparkling, purple gown hangs on my closet, waiting to be paired with a sparkling tiara that Erin and I bought while I was in Iowa.
It’s impossible not to be happy.
And yet, every single moment of happiness is tainted with grief and guilt and uncertainty.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to be either happy or sad. I can’t remember a time when the two have been so tightly intertwined. It makes feel at once blessed, because how many people can be surrounded by such joy in the midst of such tragedy, and disoriented.
I feel like I should be able to say, “Right now life is ____ .” Or at the very least, “Today is _____ .”
But life is pain and pleasure and despair and delight. Today. Right now. All rolled into one.