On a bad day, I am waiting for the bottom to fall out of everything.
(And by "day," I also mean every other five minutes or so, give or take.)
I went to Target on Sunday--a huge, lovely store in Branson that is not crowded on Sunday mornings because it's in the Bible Belt and everybody is at church. I spent an hour just browsing (ok, so I did a little buying, too).
When I walked in, the dollar section was fully of pastel colors and Easter decorations. I was surprised to discover that it didn't hurt my heart to see them. The same decorations that had felt like a cruel slap in the face just one year ago (last March I could not fathom celebrating new beginnings nor eternal life--I was deep in the trenches of grief and contemplating springtime and Easter was hard enough) suddenly looked... kind of cute. They weren't the grief trigger they had been last year. I even found myself thinking that we might put out decorations for Easter and spring--next year.
Maybe we call this progress?
Then I walked by the little girls' Easter dresses.
And I thought that maybe I haven't made that much progress after all.
It hit me that this should be Eliza's second Easter, and I should be buying (or making??) a darling flowered (or polka-dotted) dress for a toddling fifteen-month-old. I should be almost a year and a half ahead of where I am in this parenting thing. I know that I have so much to look forward to, but the fact that I have missed out on so much already makes my heart crumple up inside itself.
I took a deep breath and I veered sharply to the right to pick out greeting cards and shampoo and some other necessities. I held it together, but I really, really ached for Eliza, and for everything that our life should have been with her in it.
There's a quotation by Joseph Campbell that goes, "We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." I know it's true, but this continues to be my biggest struggle. You all know how much I loved my plan. I wonder how I could ever stop wanting that other life. The life that should have been ours. The life that includes Eliza here with us. There is definitely still a part of me that is holding on tight to the life I had planned.
But, in my hopeful moments, in the maternity section of Target, I know that I will also love the life that is waiting for us.
|Just a little blurry self-portrait. Horizontal stripes may make the Deuce appear larger than life.|