Not complaining or anything, but I have an optical migraine-technical terms for a headache in my eyeball. Given an antibiotic a week ago, and yes, I am my own worst enemy! I am going to buckle and get Thee to a pharmacy; this is a bowl of crap chowder, and I have not been able to shirk one, not one responsibility-and it feels awesome and exhausting at the very same time. I loathe whiners, too much to be grateful for, why concentrate on the one bad thing when there are millions of good and great things to be thankful for? But since my husband won’t listen and I would never bother my social media with such rhetoric-well, you guys are my tribe-and hey, you owe me that! 🙂
This day was more, oh so much more, than I had bargained on. Toying with the idea of skipping my Thursday exercise class (it was pouring down rain, and I felt so fatigued.) I went up to brush my teeth, and found myself dressing for a workout, so there’s that. After class, I go downstairs to help with a weekly free meal in the same church as my class. I have grown to love these ladies in a matter of weeks, and feel shame and embarrassment that I hadn’t known them earlier-I was a drunk and an addict; who in the conservative area of Schaefferstown would even bother to give me the time of day? People knew nothing but rumors, and most of them untrue-I was too busy self medicating to set them straight.
I wanted to go home and lay down with my golden, on my new and comfy sectional sofa-the first in twenty-seven years of marriage. I headed for the jeep, one of the women from class called out to me. We stood and talked for some time.
“They aren’t having the free lunch today are they,” I prodded. “I didn’t smell a thing in class.” My head pounding, sweat pouring from each and every orifice, I awaited her answer with just a little too much hope.
“Oh, yeah, they are. I saw only three, they really need help. Don’t you volunteer today?”
Like Charlie Brown, head hung low-I walked back into the church. I should have kicked my own ass in the process. Wimp. One of the women I work with is the mother of a dear, dear friend of mine. He is one of my rocks, and I know that if I ever needed anything, well-he would be there.
Ana Mae was sitting in the kitchen when I arrived. As I busied myself with my hairnet, she spoke softly. I had to sit down next to her and ask her to please try again, I hadn’t heard her.
“They have given Scott six months, he is training his wife to take over the business.”
I felt winded, as if I had been dealt a low blow. I jumped up and ran to the back of the kitchen, trying to hide my hysteria, trying to regain my composure in order to comfort her-the woman who will be losing her son. I tried to hold her as she cried, but she wasn’t comfortable with that, so I just left my hand on hers. My heart broke into shattered pieces, lay on the floor for all to see.
“I will pray for a miracle, put him on our prayer list, visit with them this weekend,” I wept openly. She nodded, gracefully, resigned to the notion-I would have given anything to tell her she was wrong, misinformed, just misunderstood Scott’s words. I could do nothing of the sort. I pulled myself together and went to serve pot roast.
These gypsies who gather each week in a tiny basement of a small town church, well, they have become family, and I went in search of a lively conversation. I like to get them riled up, and as clumsy as I am, it doesn’t take much. My eyes caught sight of a gorgeous silver necklace, and I stopped to admire and compliment. This woman was younger, no one I had met before. I told her how exquisite I thought her jewelry, she broke down into tears. My thought cloud read, sweet Jesus, what now?
She went on to tell me that she lost her son just two weeks ago, and that his ashes were inside the shell on the chain. She said he died of a heroin overdose, that her young son was battling both pain and addiction-he was doing well with oxycodone, until the pharmacist decided not to fill his script. Her son had come by his addiction honestly-by a physician over-prescribing narcotics after a sports injury.
“He just wanted to take the edge off. He didn’t die from the heroin, it was laced with Fentanyl.”
Again, we sat crying together. I understood that her son made bad decisions. I also understood that she adored him. The loss was just too much to bear. I thought to myself, I hope she has faith, I pray she finds comfort in Jesus-I hope she doesn’t give up on life, like so many of us yearn to do when the pain rips our souls apart. I was ready to succumb to the pit of despair, survivor’s guilt mixing with sorrow-the day ahead loomed like a giant black cloud, just waiting to burst open and rain on my parade. Again, I found myself crying. And then, well then I felt a little nudge, to give this woman another look.
And as I lifted my eyes I came to her belly, which was full of promise, renewal and a new life to love~