A Poetically Poignant Empty Seat

I would be lying if I didn't mention that, for all the pomp and circumstance of the weekend, it was as difficult for me as it was celebratory.  I know I talk about it a lot, but I will never understand this human experience of simultaneous conflicting emotions.  Let's just sit with that for a minute.  🤷‍♀️

I love and hate in the same breath.  I cry concurrent with rejoicing.  Pleading prayers ejaculate from the depths of my soul, the response (or lack thereof) causes me to DIE INSIDE; yet, my heart aches with gratitude, and it is praise that passes from my lips...because I KNOW that ALL from God is good.  "Yea though He slay me..."

I grow so tired of having to let go.  I do not want to let go anymore.  I am weary of watching the flowers fade.  My heart is desperate for eternal Spring.  But my feet remain here, and I have no choice but to participate.  I am wife, and I am Mom, and I despise quitting.  I will NOT be a quitter.  I will be the rock these people so desperately require, because I am exhausted by the aftermath of a people who refuse.  I will continue to sacrifice for others, because I am keenly aware that the world is lacking in willingness.  I will offer everything asking NOTHING in return.  I will bow down in service and rely on God to heal me of the knife wounds in my back.  I know...I shouldn't be so harsh and critical.  I, of all people, know how hard it is to not give up.  Why would I blame ANYONE for giving up?!

There is so much beauty in the human heart...the DESIRE to be valiant.  Yet, people fall sooooo drastically short on follow through.  Where we do not fail in desire, we lack so much in initiative and motivation.  We are so powerful in potential and so puny in action.  "Oh that's a noble idea, but..."

Eileen, right now, in this moment...you mean EVERYTHING!  But will you still love me tomorrow?  Acting on impulse is murderous...devastatingly cruel, in the least.  But it is exactly what we end up doing.  We fail people.

I know, all too preciously, the value of a loyal and true best friend.  That is the most treasured of  all pearls.  So often, I wonder how and why I have become so rich in fortune.  Perhaps this gratitude and acknowledgment fuels much of my motivation to remain a stable and strong support, in that: I know the value, I long-suffered the lack, and I desire to alleviate similar suffering for others.  I assure you it does not arise from my own "nobility."  This is a God-gifted command written into my heart.  My natural tendency, too, is to make the selfish, haphazard choice and forget the rest.

My niece graduated on Mother's Day.  I thought the gaping empty space beside me on the bleachers  poetically poignant.  I tried to hide my tears and silence my sobs, because I so wanted this to be about my niece and celebration and NOT my selfish heartache.  (I AM so proud that these kids have done so well!  I am so grateful for the stability of their father.  They amaze me, and I am blessed to be present to love and cherish them.)

But...I am more acutely aware today that I will NEVER get over this.  I don't think I realized how intensely the day affected me until I woke up the next morning with my late sister's old cassette tape carrier lying beside me.  It was at that moment I instantly remembered clinging to the handle as I crashed out into the blessed unconsciousness.  This kind of love does not let go.  I will just have to grow more and more used to the idea of dealing with the empty seat next to me at every single milestone she continues to miss.  And I'm certain I will grasp even more tightly to the small reminders that she WAS once there beside me...cassette tape carrier, however mundane, included.

Indeed, there are other pains that have wounded me this weekend and this week.  I will refrain from going into detail.  Some reflections of my heart are too fragile to lay bare just yet.  Perhaps I might never be able to name them.  He knows them.  That's all that matters.  I will walk, heartbroken again, through the rest of this week in faith's strength, and that will be enough.

Sorry to share from such a downcast soul, but this is part of the whole that makes me Kristen Shanna.  I am fully aware the lackluster in even a lovely Spring day will once again turn to joy, but I'm definitely going to need a few days.  These are deep, deep wounds.

Much love, as always.  I hope the BEST and HAPPIEST week on you all!  Just do me a favor...go out and BE the stability for yours.  Ok?  Then, at least, I will know that I am not hopelessly alone in my efforts.

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