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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grief, waves

Last week in Kampala Scott and I split directions for a few errands, and I found myself alone in a bookstore on Kampala road, smack in the center of the city, looking for a few last-minute-addition art supplies. I had to go up to the second floor, and ended up in a sort of party-supply corner, which reminded me that Julia's 13th birthday is only a few weeks away.  Suddenly it hit me that the little-kid oriented stuff (cheap plastic dolls or too-simple games) would not ever be appropriate for her again, and I got all teary-eyed. It was probably the "Bridge Over Troubled Water" muzak in the background, but I was paralyzed there by the whistles and paint-by-numbers, sensing our kids' childhood slipping by, with two of them in another country far away and the other two wishing they weren't.  Not sure how long I stood there before being rescued by a phone call from Scott that propelled me on to the post office for stamps. . . . and since that moment between meetings and life-survival the grief has been pushed down.

Until church today, a good sermon about God using persecution to move believers into new areas (as in the pattern with Paul in Acts).  That had little to do with Caleb and Luke, but I suppose it was the half-empty family bench, and the mind-numbing effort of listening in Lubwisi that let my heart drift again, and the wave of sadness was right there, waiting.  I suppose it helped just to gently remind myself that in the background of an intense week of meetings and decisions, there is the always-present rarely-acknowledged fact of grief.  And like the ocean it can ebb, or we can float on the surface, but then a killer wave topples us again, and there is nothing to do but scrape over the sand and close your eyes and wait for a breath.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Praying for you.