This time last year we were reeling from Everley’s sudden birth, still grappling with Heidi’s sudden passing just seven months prior, knocking holes in our bedroom walls to make room for a bassinet, and grasping for breath in the midst of crises and change and chaos.
My body felt like it’d been hit by a Mack truck after the caesarean and I was still being wheeled to the NICU two weeks postpartum.
So we decided to go to the Fair. “What?” Yes. It sounds dramatic because it was kind of dramatic.
But we were desperate to do something normal, to spend time just the two of us, to let our worries go, to relax and blend into a crowd. We’d had tickets to a country concert at the county fair. We got the green light from nurses and doctors who were overseeing Everley, and though some said I’d never make it up the grand stand because I was still too weak, I not only made it…. I climbed (hobbled actually) to the very top.
Manly and I wrapped our arms around each other and sang along to every sappy country lyric; we waved our cell phones in the dark, kissed for every love song, and laughed like two twitterpated kids. We were finally back to being ourselves again. Carefree and happy. A whole year later we took Everley out for her first tractor pull, calf petting, hay bale competition, Baptist booths lowdown country county Fair. It was as hot as hell out there and we were drippin, but she was loving the animals, especially the piglets. And the ice cream there is the best.
I wish I could say that this year was just as special as last year. But it wasn’t. Instead of soaking up the sweet family time and not having a care in the world…
I had every care in the world coursing through my mind. I drove, talked to my husband faster than I was driving, felt rejected and misunderstood, crossed my arms and stomped through the exhibits, and finally fell into a melted heap of ugly cries at a shaded table. The day wasn’t like a cute country song or as pretty as the pictures. It was kind of a rough day, honestly. My husband had to pick up the pieces of frightened and tattered wife who couldn’t stop her mind from racing and her heart from feeling sad. There are times when no matter how happy our circumstances may appear, we are still grieving on the inside. I struggle to relinquish plans for the future, control of situations, dreams for my children… I struggle to submit the fears, self-regulate, stop my imagination, and harness the anger. Some days everything in me just wants to SCREAM. “This world is evil and broken and horrible! I’m getting the hell out of here! I can’t take this pain anymore!” My pain is not just my own; it’s also the pain of many others who I know are deeply hurting right now. They’ve been betrayed, abused, misunderstood, forgotten, cast aside. I carry their pain with me, because I weep for them just as I weep from my pain of losing Heidi.
There are just some things- many things- that we do not understand in this life. And that scares me.There’s not much of a conclusion to this post (except that my husband is a very brave man and handles his weepy woman like a Champion). I’m simply sharing that some days aren’t the pictures and many times it’s best not to have pictures of what actually happened. Apparently, our family goes to the Fair and expresses a range of emotions from joy and thrill to sadness and gloom. Such is life. In the hands of the potter,