Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach...
Coming home from the Y tonite (Zumba is awesome!!!), as I thought about taking a shower, I cringed. Not because I don't want to be clean. Not because I don't want to slather on my homemade moisturizer and Tom's of Maine deodorant. But because the ants are back. Every spring and every fall, my bathtub comes under attack. And this is the second wave this spring. Thanks to the remarkable effectiveness of Terro baits, I know the ants will be gone within 48 hours. I know that. And I knew that as I drove home from the Y. But as I came up the stairs and approached my bedroom, I was thinking, "Just the thought of seeing those ants makes me sick to my stomach."
Earlier today, Daniel was making his famous homemade chips. (He uses whole wheat tortilla wraps, olive oil, and salt. He drizzles the wraps with olive oil, cuts them into triangles with a pizza cutter, sprinkles salt on them and bakes them for 7 minutes in the oven. Then he dips them in salsa or hummus. And two clementines and a glass of chocolate almond milk and Voila! Lunch!!! Crunchy, salty, duper deliciousness.) When he pulled them out of the oven with the oven mitt, he discovered that there a hole in the mitt. Hot right thumb. In a moment of panic, he grabbed the pan with his left hand, his ungloved left hand. OUCH!!! Aloe vera gel. Baking soda paste. Cool water. Ibuprofen. Prayer. Hugs. Tears. And a blister, a small hard blister. Just the thought of the pain he felt makes me sick to my stomach.
Ten days ago, one hundred sixty tornados blew thru the southernmost part of this nation. Homes flattened. Lives lost. When I think about all those folks whose homes are gone, whose places of worship are no more, whose livelihoods have also been lost, the thought of the despair they must feel makes me sick to my stomach.
And don't get me started on those who still suffer the consequences of that devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Or the ongoing wars in the Middle East, Africa, and the drug-related conflicts in Mexico and other parts of Central and South America.
Or the joblessness, the bankruptcies, the foreclosures,
the troubled marriages, the longing for companionship,
the troubled children, the longing for children,
the emptiness and loneliness and fear that plague so many of us so much of the time.
At this rate, I will feel queasy for many days and weeks to come.
Then I think: peace is possible. joy is possible. gratitude is possible.
And all of that is true. All those things are possible. They are available.
But they don't always happen. They certainly don't always come easily.
I think: it's only ants. Terro baits work. This will all be over soon. There are folks in Alabama who would love to have a house with ant problems, so grow up. Deal with it.
I think: it's a minor burn. He'll be fine. The tears will dry. My heartrate will get back to normal. There are folks who would trade their son's cancer for my son's burn anyday.
And all of that is true too. The burn will heal.
I tell myself: Have faith, Gail. You talk about your faith and prayer and trust all the time.
Remember what God said: Be strong and of good courage. Fear not. I am with you always.
I tell myself: Now is the time to live all this faith stuff out.
Nevertheless, suffering is real.
Drought devastates. Floodwaters rise. Fires consume.
Parents pass away. Children lose their way. Loved ones walk away.
Divorce happens. Depression happens. Desperation happens.
Loss in life happens. Loss of life happens.
Life hurts. A lot.
Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach.
PS. Earlier today, a friend of mine posted something on her facebook page that comes to mind now. She wondered what it would be like to never say "should" again. It's funny how "The Mean Pastor" gremlin voice in me keeps saying, "You should put a happy ending on this, Gail. You should be upbeat and cheerful. No one needs to read something so sad. God is good all the time. All the time, God is good." Perhaps He is, but that's a tough sell with someone whose very soul is breaking and aching, someone whose wife has been confined to a wheelchair with MS for over 15 years while their children learn to take care of her rather than the other way around, someone whose engaged daughter is fighting the side effects of chemotherapy just six weeks before her wedding, someone who is the sole breadwinner in her household and has been out of work for two years, someone whose marriage has been lonely and empty for a decade, someone who has been abandoned by her husband and the father of her three daughters, someone whose mother died recently and is acutely feeling her absense, someone else whose mother is slowly disappearing behind the partition of dementia. The truth is that sometimes life truly sucks. Tonight, my heart is feeling that suckishness to the max. Tonight, it's making me sick to my stomach. Period.