My kids and I picked up a few small toiletries and snacks and placed them in small blue gift bags last night. This morning I brought them in to Eric for his vets. He looked like the Veterans Day Santa Claus passing them out throughout the morning which made me very happy.
Mark poked his head in the laundry room and whined, “I didn’t get no bag. An I served this country fo fifty years!”
“Wow. You sho look good for 70 years old!” I quipped back at him. We both laughed, but I knew deep down he did feel left out. Any time I bring in anything there is whining from who ever “didn’t get none.”
I do the same thing. Always whining about why I don’t get to catch babies. Why I don’t get to have a home for my children and I. Why I don’t have a husband who loves me. Why I don’t get child support. Why I don’t have a kitchen. Why I don’t have access to most of my belongings. Why I don’t have a paying job.
I really want to change my tune and talk about all the wonderful blessings I do have and not compare myself to all the folks around me. I want to be thankful that my kids are healthy and wild and creative and beautiful. I want to be thankful that I get to see them and am not in prison. Heck, I want to be grateful that I’m not locked up in a mental institution or having medications shoved down my throat. I’m super happy I am NOT with the man who married me and mistreated me instead of loving me. I am grateful that I have wonderful friends who read about this crazy journey God has me on.
I did a half a day because I was drawn away to a lunch time wedding on the beach for a dear friend. It’s 11/11/11 and apparently folks think it’s a good day to tie the knot. At least it removes any excuses for why the hubby can’t remember his anniversary!
I saw a friend at the wedding that I had not really talked at length to in over a year. Having been institutionalized himself in his younger days I felt like I understood a lot about him that I didn’t “get” before I was taken away in handcuffs. I felt like I’ve been spun around in a dryer and am now being presented to him as a totally different person. At least I feel completely different. I’m more socially phobic for anything but hellos and smiles and superficial greetings. At the same time I am fearful of the shallow, surface talk. I want intimacy but don’t know how to handle it at the same time.
Eric brought the 86 year old by my laundryroom to introduce me as the one who gave him a bag. He is, apparently, a World War II vet. He smiled at me, his hand shaking as he clutched the little blue gift bag. I smiled back and then ran away. I literally fled from the confrontation being anything more than a quick greeting. What would I say? How do you hold space for people after being smashed into the ground for doing so? How do you keep your heart wide open after the openness itself has been chastised?