Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they are going to, which can be confusing, weird, embarrassing, and just downright sucky.
I find myself smack dab in the middle of one of these situations…again…as life was beginning to slow down a little into a rhythm of sorts. Because I am embarrassed and it’s still early in the grieving process – spouting off at the mouth and crying at a moment’s notice – I’m not ready to divulge details.
Once more than 24 hours goes by, I will start to find some humor in the situation. Until then, I cry. And talk. And cry. And go to my twice-weekly group workout session even though I would rather lay prone in my bed, eating Kettle chips and the rest of my solid dark chocolate Easter bunny while tears leak from my eyes.
But I didn’t do that, opting instead for the warm (and sweaty) support of my work out buddies (like a sports bra). One of the women – I will call her Racer – and I were taking a recovery lap around the building before our torturous ab work began. As we walked, Racer said, “I’m sorry this has happened. What do they say about God giving you what you can handle? I’ve always thought, ‘What makes God think that I’m that strong?’”
We chuckled. “Yeah, I’m pretty much a bad ass by now.”
“I’ve been reading through some of your blog posts since I bought Caskets From Costco, and…what was that one…” she began. “Oh yeah, it was a necklace! Something about doing hard things.”
I have to admit that my very first thought – the one that I don’t usually admit to in most situations – was, WHY oh WHY did I EVER ask for THAT NECKLACE? The one that says that I can do hard things?”
Why? She is the 3rd person in as many weeks who has reminded me that I have it. And I am now accountable – like it or not – to those for whom I have bared my much dramatic and tattered soul.
Don’t get me wrong – THIS IS A GOOD THING. It holds the Kettle chips and dark chocolate at bay, and reminds me that yes, indeed, I HAVE done hard things, I CAN do hard things, I AM DOING hard things and I WILL CONTINUE to do hard things. (yes, of course, that’s what she said)
This is what matters – that we continue to show strength, be courageous, and live well in the midst of adversity. The situation and resulting grief will pass, but will not leave me broken. This can only lead to something better – HOPE.
There was only one problem. “You know, I’ve gone through about 5 chains with that necklace,” I told Racer. “Ironically, I keep breaking them so I have to carry the charms around. Maybe today is the day to buy a new chain and put my necklace back on.”
“Yeah,” said Racer. “And you know, this will pass.”
There was an awkward silence.
“Platitude! Platitude! Platitude!” Racer said suddenly.
I cracked up. “What are you doing?”
“Oh, you know all of the platitudes, I just wanted to get them out of the way.”
That, by far, is one of the best things someone has said to me during a tough time.