Today, I struggled with pride, tired and carrying a little too much medical into this brand new week. Last week sapped me, physically and emotionally, with multiple trips to Children’s Hospital, planned and unplanned, and my husband an ocean away on business in India.
Today dawned and I wanted nothing more than to lie still and quiet enveloped in peace and warmth, but there was soup to make and bread to bake and school to facilitate. So I pulled my tired body out of bed, mindlessly attending the tasks at hand, when unkind, out-of-line words suddenly shattered the still, and reflexively, I engaged with harsh words and a harsher tone, sending both girls to their room.
I was angrier than the incident warranted – angry about things beyond my control, a body that is no longer strong and reliable, more pounds lost, our inability to diagnosis the cause of our middle daughter’s cough, and words – my words, heavily edited and published under a misspelled name, and other words written in response to a recent post – words that have merit and which I know were written in love, yet the writer hasn’t been there, doesn’t know, can’t, because she hasn’t walked the last 18 years of life in my shoes. And yet…
Her words, her perspective have merit, truth. So in the quiet, I think and ponder and evaluate. I see her point. From her perspective she’s right, but from mine? Honestly, I’m too tired to find the words to explain how exhausting illness is, how unprepared I’ve been for the emotional mine field of chronically ill teens. When my daughter was little and ill, she simply accepted life. When she was well, she played. She didn’t wonder, “If I play now, will I be sick later? If I eat now, will the pain return? Can I do this? Should I? How much will it cost? Is it even worth it?” She just played. And I’m learning, but not without mistakes, not without getting a lot of it wrong, how to navigate this mine field.
And yet, it’s OK, because I have learned one thing. Life and all we go through is a process, every day, every moment, just another step along the way. Some days I get it right and others, like today, absolutely wrong, but even when I’m tired and overwhelmed and frustrated, even when I’m angry and hurting and let pride wedge its sticky fingers around my heart, it’s OK, because I get another chance to get it right.
So I apologized to my daughters in the late afternoon sun. “Today I got it wrong. Today I let pride get in the way, and I over-reacted, and I’m really sorry, and I love you…always.” Tempers melted away as I hugged my daughters, grateful for a great big God who loves to lavish His mercy, grace and forgiveness on His children, grateful for His overwhelming love and His sometimes not so gentle reminder to ask – to seek to understand, to see through another’s eyes, beyond the tip of the iceberg, beyond what I think I know – grateful for another chance, another day, another step along this wildly unanticipated adventure through life.
*Today’s post written in celebration of love that isn’t afraid to speak truth, love that loves me enough to risk the necessary words. You know who you are, and I love you more than you will ever know.
Linking up with Joy today and living “Life Unmasked.”