I can’t sleep now. Sarah’s taking a bath.
The weekend was full of ups and one very downish down.
First was the prom for Jacob and Ethan.
Then was a rare and lovely overnight visit from Rich’s Dad and step mom. We went for walks, we had a campfire with hotdogs and marshmallows, we planted a family tree together, we went to the diner for breakfast. We skipped church so we could soak up every minute and then waved goodbye as they drove slowly away on Sunday afternoon.
Monday morning I found out that the night before our dear Billy-Cat had been hit and killed in the road. I went outside to where Jacob had lovingly put him and stroked his beautiful fur. When I saw the ants I stumbled into the house. Rich gathered me into his lap and held me as I sobbed.
We buried him where he lay and put a nice rock at the top for Jacob to paint Billy’s name on. The children all grieved in their own way and losing our cat cast a melancholy mood on the whole day.
Later that morning we took them downtown for the Memorial Day parade. Grace marched as a music student, David and Caleb, who looked like typical American Little League boys….fresh and energetic, marched with their baseball teams.
Sarah and Seth were so surprised when the candy started being thrown right at them by the parade marchers.
I wore sunglasses to hide the tears…tears for my cat, tears for loss, tears for all the nice people of our town who marched by us, throwing candy, the ones who serve us, the ones representing the sacrifices of the past.
Yesterday Rich left for work and I am home alone carrying the load of the family, not in my own strength, but by the grace of God. Ethan had a game last night, Jacob threw a PR in Javelin during a big meet and won forth place despite an empty stomach, Seth had his very first concert performance, we were home and in bed later than usual.
This morning I got the kids to school, carried water to my plants, loaded the dishwasher.
There is a homemade card on the counter that Seth brought home, which is propped up against a vase of flowers. In Kindergarten handwriting are the words, “I’m sorry Billy Cat died.” It’s bothering all of us that it is there.
I’m tired. Deep, deep tired. I made a list of things that must be done today. David has an orthodontist appointment at 1:30. Ethan has a home game at 3:30 and it’s a big one so I need to be there. David and Caleb need to be at their field by 5:30 and Jacob has to be at driving school at 6:15. Grace is being inducted into the Thespian Society at 6. I will do the best I can for my children….in the meantime….it’s only 9:30 in the morning……and I’m sleepy and don’t want to move.
Sarah took a break from playing and came to stand by me half an hour ago. I was half asleep, arms and legs limp as I cuddled into the couch cushions. She was trying to get me to turn on a movie. When that didn’t work, she leaned in close and said, “Mom. God said something to me last night.”
I perked up slightly. These were the words of God. I opened my eyes, ready to receive them.
“He told me that in the morning I needed to take a bath.”
I roused myself.
“Well, you had better obey.”
This is how Sarah got her bath this morning and how I have come to sit crossed legged on the floor of the bathroom to write this little story of living….
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! Psalm 113:2
O how He loves you and me, O how he loves you and me,
He gave His life, what more could He give?
O how He loves you, O how He loves me,
O how he loves you and me.
“We planted a tree and it grew up,
While it reached for the sky and the sun. . . .” Diane Muldrow
“I used to take every new day for granted. Now I realize that each new day is a gift of God’s grace; and it is this day I need to focus on. It is full of possibilities – not just responsibilities – for relationships and for surprises.”
– R. Jack Hansen and Jerry P. Haas