It started as a decent enough day. Recovering from a run-in with dairy. Ready to have a day free from pain. Plans made running through my head. Discussions with my doctor to begin metabolic care. Desperately needed. To change the path I’m on. The one that will threaten to end my life or greatly hinder my life.
Feeling a weight that I cannot explain. No. No. I will not go there. But, yet. This doesn’t feel like that. This is different. I whisper, “Whatever it is, it’s yours”.
Surprise lunch with the husband. We share a lunch of green. (Yes. The couple that diets together stays together…or that is what I’m telling myself). Talk about the Kingdom. How we see it. How to find it. I share my heart with him. (Yes, we are getting somewhere!) He provides the words that I need. The ones that say, ” You’re on the right path.” Amused that my help this day came from a big guy, in a big truck. Who just happened to be my husband.
Arrive home. Girls are not yet back from their morning adventure. I decide to check the mail. Can’t actually remember the last time I did. Yep. Too much mail for that wee little box. I walk home. Taking in the beauty of the trees that surround our neighborhood. Thankful for the simple peace I feel. The way my body feels healthier, despite it trying to kill me over cheese.
I am oblivious to what I hold in my hands.
I throw the mail on the table. Make the boy a sandwich. Girls run inside. Talkative. Ready for the next adventure. The one with the out-of-town cousin and their friend who moved away last year. Realizing my afternoon is going to be a series of 11-13 year old girls talking and giggling. That the afternoon spent in the barn will be a relaxing break from the hectic world of the suburbs.
I still haven’t looked at the mail.
Chit-chat with some friends…on Facebook. Look at some ideas for an upcoming blog post. Chide myself for putting off a hard review for the 5th day in a row.
I finally look at the mail.
Inside are the usual suspects. For some reason the AARP thinks that I’m 55+ and keeps sending me invitations to be a member. Another remind I need to get my hearing aids. You know. The usual junk. I guess, I didn’t realize that I skipped right over my 40s and apparently most of my 50s. See what I would miss if I didn’t read the junk mail?
In the middle of the junk and the bills and the notice that our sprinkler system needs tested, lies an envelope. From the desert. Strangely addressed to a person with my maiden name. My married name seems to be an afterthought. I open it.
Many songs, poems. Not sure what they mean. I think. I don’t know. It’s been like this my whole life. Weird cryptic comments that I’m supposed to decipher. I move on.
“With best wishes to you for your grace…”
A simple gesture. One that I did out of obedience to a heavenly Father that I’m only beginning to understand. A simple gesture of grace. To a man in a prison in the desert. Someone that I don’t know, yet I’m connected to by DNA.
“You should have seen the looks on the faces…”
Taunya, He whispers to my heart, this is why I asked you to do this. To give grace. To rise above your life and show that there is a different way. To show who I am. To a person who desperately needs me.
This new “CORE” their pressing on familes got a lot of people shook up. (this is how he spelled it)
I giggle. My father’s spelling and grammar needs help. AND apparently the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree; I don’t like the core either. Lord, please help me. I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist like my father!
And then the guns. Good gravy he’s talking about the 2nd amendment and banks and the government. Where’s my sister’s dang NEXT button?
Little more short talk. About life in prison and my uncles and crackers that someone gave him and the jerky I sent. At this point I feel like I’m reading the ramblings of an 8-year-old. And the weight from the morning begins to press down. I can feel it falling down on me like a boulder I won’t be able to lift.
Cheery, “Tell everyone hi.” UM, you’re in prison. Not a freaking vacation spa. Then I stop. Because I strangely cannot make my brain process the next few words.
“and that I’m asking to forgive me. I know it’s hard. Time will tell. So, we are all under the cost of my dirt.”
I cannot breathe. I don’t know what to say. Isn’t this what I wanted him to say…do…anything to admit that HE is there because of what he did. To apologize. Of course, it’s just to me, and oh by the way, can you ask everyone for me, because, well they are not speaking to me.
But I’m stopped. Isn’t this what I asked for? Isn’t this what I wanted? Isn’t THIS the very thing I needed for closure on this whole sordid affair?
So why am I sad? Why am I critiquing it like a movie critique. It’s the most honest thing I’ve seen from him. My entire life. Isn’t it enough that he realizes it IS HIS DIRT that has covered us these last four years?
But there’s SO much pain. And so much anger. And so many destroyed, bleeding lives. And I just fall underneath the weight of it all.
The years of trying to figure out how to fix my life. The years of trying to let go and stay calm and not be angry. The years of yelling at God and wanting to scream at my mom and strangle my father. The years of feeling guilt for not remembering the thing that he did that made me uncomfortable. The years of comfort that my children were spared, and the pain that my nieces and nephews bear scars. The years of sharing my anger, my pain, my frustration knowing that it angered family. All my words. Feelings. Emotions. All that weight. Crashed down on me. In one afternoon.
And I was left with a choice. To stay in the depth of despair under the weight of a load I can no longer bear. Or to leave it and move on. And as I sat underneath the warmth of the Oregon sun I began to sing.
To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of it’s suffering I do drink
Of it’s work I do sing
For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just
I learned a while ago that when I’m overwhelmed that I can’t keep it inside. It eats me alive. I take it to the only place I know. And I can’t explain it. But when I said “To the cross I go.” and I envisioned nailing my father and his dirt to the foot of the cross, the weight lifted.
It’s not my weight to carry. It’s His.
And I realize now, a few hours later after the shock has worn off, that I have walked past the point of no return. I accepted grace and grace I will freely give. I have accepted forgiveness and forgiveness I will freely give. I have accepted love and love I will freely give.
At the end of the day it matters not that I am fully justified to withhold grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. It only matters that I live in a way that pleases my Father above. That I will do that. No matter the cost.
P.S. I will freely admit that I hope it doesn’t cost me too much. I am human!