We all have them. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have a down day now and then. My Sunday actually started off good.
I went to Church and drank in the presence of God. I was feeling pretty good. After breakfast the pounding started. Uh oh! Things needed to get done. That’s the thing about chronic pain. It’s always there. It lurks in the corners of the body.
Sometimes I know the pain is coming. A big cold front is barreling through and the headache pops out from a dark corner, big and proud, it yells “Gotcha!”
This time the pain seeped in slowly. It was one of those mornings where I didn’t wake with a headache. Sure I didn’t want to get out of my warm cozy bed, but the day stretched out with promise like the bright sun hanging in a clear blue sky.
I settled down to catch up on the thank you cards for the kindness of those attending dad’s services. As I wrote the first five notes, I noticed the headache setting in. I got up to move around and get some water. I turned on an episode of Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I wrote a few more notes expressing my gratitude for friendship, comfort and support.
When I got up again the headache was raging. I was beginning to think it might be a migraine. It didn’t feel like it. Migraines have their own feeling to a person. It’s hard to explain. It’s just different.
When my pain gets bad but not debilitating, I work. I do something. Let me tell you a lot of chores got done that morning! It is like trying to sweep away the pain in my head. I looked at the guest book and cards spread on the table. The pain had waned. I thought about avoiding it again. Then I thought how I much wanted to express my gratitude. I did write a dozen or so thank you notes the week after his memorial but stopped as the holidays began.
There was Thanksgiving. Let’s wait until after the interment. Then it was too close to Christmas. Why spoil New Years with a reminder of death? I waited. I was glad to wait because I didn’t want the reminder either. I put on another episode from season 1 and dove back into writing.
I don’t really like writing thank you notes. I want them to be personal to the person. If I’m short and sweet they may think I am are insincere. If I am wordy they may think I’m trying too hard. I write something then, remember what they said and want to write something else. I threw away as many notes as I wrote. It’s a good thing we bought two boxes! The hardest part was the memory of each person.
With each note I wrote I remembered what they said, did, or wrote. Their grief tugged at my heart. I couldn’t harden it for this job. It had to be heartfelt.
I went through two more episodes of Signed, Sealed, Delivered and I was done. Exhausted from the memories I was irritable. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I should be happy. I finished the cards.
I sought out my husband. He didn’t say anything. He enfolded me in his arms and held me. I wept. I wept for the grief of family and friends. I wept because I missed my dad. My dad and I did make amends on one level. I forgave him in the last several months. I had to. I couldn’t have borne the journey if I didn’t. I also know I was never forgiven in his heart. There is no going back. I wept for loss of the closure that never came.
Last night I wanted to write. I stared at the computer and the words never came. I went to bed with that nagging headache. Today was a little bit brighter. There is less pain and more energy. A lot got done for a Monday. I am satisfied.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. [Psalm 23:4 NABRE]
A note you too: Thank you for your support in reading my adventure journey through life’s transitions. I am blessed by your support.