A good kind of cry

Today was an emotional day for me. Well, yesterday was too. Two days back to back full of a lot of things that made me want to cry. No, I’m not being hormonal (or at least I don’t think I am). This just happens to be one of those times in life when a lot of intense/deep things are all intersecting in my thoughts at the same time, leaving me feeling very spent emotionally. Both yesterday and tonight quite a few tears were spilling down my cheeks. But it was a good kind of cry.

Two sets of our friends are experiencing the intense grief in the loss of pregnancies. My heart is breaking for them. That alone wants to make me cry.

Yesterday, finally after putting it off for 6 years, we met with an attorney to draw up a living trust for ourselves in the event that both Steve and I pass away. For years since Jacob’s birth this thought has loomed in the back of my mind- that we didn’t have a plan that could go into effect for the care and well-being of our small children. Finally, thankfully, that legal process has begun and is now underway. I can rest more assured that the proper documents are in place. But quite honestly the thought of either Steve or I dying, or both of us, is a very sad thought for my mind to consider. I know that heaven and eternity with God is something that is far more glorious than I can even grasp and it is something that should give me peace as I approach it. However, the thought of dying is a deep and heavy topic.

But then thoughts of death also led to the thoughts of our parents, one day, passing away. And that’s when my tears really started to flow. I love my parents. I am deeply grateful for them. I have such a phenomenal relationship with my mom- that I can’t and don’t even want to think of the day she may not be here. It’s too heavy of a grief for my mind and heart to even try to imagine coping with.

Yesterday we spent an early Thanksgiving with my dad and Ursula. We’ve had some rough years. And it was a beautiful, beautiful thing that our time spent setting up our living trust was the book-end that seemed to close that chapter of rough times. Because a lot of it came to bear around the time that my dad went in to write his will. It was then that I verbalized a lot of my feelings and from that point on things got really rough and distant. So it’s sweet, very sweet, that between the drawing of his will and now the drawing of mine, that a chapter has closed. And a new chapter of calm and understanding has begun.

And then tonight Steve’s wonderful parents came over to our place to make Christmas crafts with the kids, to give us the gift of a date night out. Again, a wonderful exquisite feeling of being so loved and cared for. And I am so thankful and grateful that my kids went running out to Grammy’s car, with full excitement in their voices at her arrival. They could hardly wait to sit at the kitchen counter and see what fun crafts would be drawn out of her magical arts & crafts bag. They sat there shouting with joy “What crafts Grammy? Which crafts?!” That was a glorious picture- walking out the door looking at the backs of their bodies on the stools, knowing they were in the care of a very loving Grammy.

So Steve and I headed off to see a movie. We hardly ever watch movies. It’s just not our thing. Friends gave us a gift card to a movie theater nearly a year ago, January 2010, as a congratulatory gift for Steve officially becoming the principal of DaVinci High School. Now, Nov. 23rd 2011, we finally went to see a movie. Our decision tonight was to either go see “Moneyball” or “Hugo” that was just released today, a film directed by Martin Scorsese. Not that we know all that much about the film industry- we really know almost nothing. But we do at least know (well, truth be told I didn’t know, but Steve did) that Martin Scorsese is a highly acclaimed director, known for making incredible movies. So we went hopeful it would be worth our time and would be memorable for our once-a-year-to-the-movies-outing.

And it was. I left the movie crying. A good kind of cry. Not only was the movie beautifully created and filmed. I found myself even commenting about how much I appreciated and liked the lighting in the movie. And that’s weird for me to even notice! I also left with this sense that we are all soooooooo small in this world and yet our role is so huge. I absolutely LOVED how they panned the great big city of Paris and moved in closer and closer and closer all the way to the eye of Hugo, who was looking out of the number 4 from inside the clock at the train station. This sense of how huge our world is and yet how much of a story lies behind and in each individual person’s life. I loved it. I love to ponder about the stories of each individual who walks on this planet. And yet so often I get sucked into the minutiae of  my daily life (like this morning getting frustrated that my maps app on my iPhone doesn’t work anymore) that I forget to pan out and gain perspective of the bigger purpose of life. Yesterday and today God took me on a journey of panning out a bit, to give me some awesome perspective of how much bigger life is.

After the movie we went out to eat at Salt Creek Grille where Steve was looking forward to ordering the Chilean Sea Bass. He claims this is THE best dinner served in all of Los Angeles. Wow! That is one very high recommendation. I wouldn’t agree. But every single taste bud of his is on maximum pure enjoyment and bliss when he orders that plate of food! I’m glad to know he thoroughly enjoyed it.

As we sat there at a right angle to each other, sipping our house glass of wine, feeling quite like grown-up adults, we looked over at the table nearest to us. There sat a couple with a tiny girl, just six months old or so sitting in a high chair. As soon as Steve said “do you remember those days?”, the floodgates of my eyes opened and the tears started to flow once again. Yes, I do remember those days. I mean, no. I don’t. I know it wasn’t long ago and it’s happening all so fast and my lame memory isn’t holding onto it all. I used to think that my memory was so bad because it’s shutting down was a coping mechanism for unpleasant aspects of my childhood. But this is the pleasant part of my life- it should be working! This is the chapter of my life that I dreamed of and wished for with all my might. I remember my high school friends thought I was beyond weird and crazy to imagine and dream for my 30’s when I would be a wife and a mom. But, truly, this is the dream time of my life and yet my memory still can’t grasp onto details. Grrrrrr. That’s really frustrating. And so I’ve asked Steve to commit with me each part of our Sunday evenings together when we sit on the couch and just have couple time to talk about our week and pray, that we would include in that time some journal time for the kids. Time to jot down what our minds and hearts hope to hold onto forever.

During the course of our dinner that couple and small child left and when we looked up again there sat an older couple. A mom, dad and son who seemed to have just arrived back home from college. Well, that was the story we created. And we laughed. In the blink of an eye it seems that our life will be happening that fast too. Before we know it our little 4-year old Natalie will be moving off to college. It seems so far away right now but we know it will happen before we even know it. Those parents we saw sitting there, looked older, more established professionally and even heavier in weight. All things that may happen to us on our trajectory in life- who knows. What will we look like? I already have so much more gray hair than I even imagined for this age and stage of my life. Ha!

So I sat there tonight pondering all these things and more. I was thinking of the man I’ve been reading about in the novel “Unbroken”, about his story as a prisoner of war, being beaten by Japanese soldiers. I was also thinking of things that Francis Chan wrote about in his book “Crazy Love” and the comforts of living a Christian life that is not at all about the life that Jesus called us to. And my mind is trying to make sense of it all. My mind feels spent. My emotions feel raw. I want my life to be significant. I’m not sure what God is trying to tell me through all of this. It all feels so deep.  So I’ll pray and invite God to clearly reveal to me what my greater purpose is in this life. What is this chapter in my life all about? How shall I make sense of all that is going on? And I’ll just go to sleep trusting that He will speak and will lead.

Oh and on a lighter note. Here’s a fun little tidbit. Today was the 1st time I bought myself a tub of popcorn at the movies!! I don’t normally indulge like that. But, hey, we had a gift card to the movies. So today I bought popcorn and a coke. It felt like a big splurge. Funny, huh? It’s the little things.

I don’t feel like any of this is making a whole lot of sense. This is babbling to the extreme. But I feel at ease now that it somehow has all made its way from my mind into this typed text. God, I’m holding out hope that you will help me make sense of it all. Thank you.

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