Gosh, there are those days. Sad days. Heavy days. Crawl back in bed, pull the covers over your head, wish them away kind of days. Today was one of them.
I woke up to phones ringing. Terrible news. And, when I checked my email, even more.
I immediately felt compelled to write and to pray, but I couldn't do either. What would I write? Everything seemed inane and trite. I had nothing to say and everything to say. What would I pray for? I didn't know.
I spent the entire day, sixteen hours of it at least, aimless in thought. I wanted to find a way to be hopeful and happy, to concentrate on work until I could shake off the heaviness in my heart. It's 1:30 in the morning now, and I finally just settled on writing it out.
Someone very close to me has cancer. It will be okay. I think. No, it will be okay.
A mass shooting happened at a theater and in a shopping center frequented by my sister, brother-in-law, and two-year-old nephew. It's too close, and I know what it's like to get that phone call at too odd an hour. Something's wrong. They're gone. Life is going along, things are fine, and then it just changes, and nothing's ever the same.
I live in Louisiana, so hurricanes, while not an everyday occurrence, happen frequently enough to know how to prepare. We spend the days before stocking up on supplies, securing things, and helping those around us get situated before the storm.
But then, in the hours just before it hits, we hunker down with those we love most; we've checked on everyone, friends and extended family, but in those hours and days of darkness and uncertainty, we want to be huddled together with those who mean the most to us.
Today, I felt like a hurricane was barreling through, except this time, we were scattered, and I just wanted my loved ones near, in safety, out of the rain, and as far inland as we could be.
Riding Out the Storm
Yes, I know what it's like to get that call, and all you can do is ride out the storm. Why does life have to be so hard?
Hurricanes are scary and unpredictable. Will a tornado come? Will those trees stand up to the wind? Will the waters rise? Will the levees break?
So many questions, and no answers. No way to know the impact it will have until it's over.
Waiting for the Sun
There's something extra sweet and comforting about the sun that comes just after a hurricane. Even when you look around and see the mess it's made, the pieces you're now left to pick up, it's still reassuring to know that you made it out okay, even if you're a little worse for wear (in some cases, a lot worse for wear).
This Too Shall Pass
We all have storms to weather. Sometimes there's time to prepare. Other times, you're broad-sided. Either way, in the middle of it, you think the world is absolutely going to end.
Somehow, in spite of it, you have to believe the sun is going to rise tomorrow and that, somehow, you'll find a way to rebuild with the pieces that remain when it's over. There may be great loss, or maybe you'll come out unscathed, if you're lucky, and you are lucky.
That's the last post to Twitter made by one of the Aurora, Colorado shooting victims. She was just going about her day, looking forward to a great night with friends, and then, in a moment, she's gone.
Tomorrow is not promised. Make today count. Live your life. Hold your loved ones close. Ride out the storm, and wait for the sun.