I sat in the darkness this morning. I sat in silence as the heavy of the moment weighed on my shoulders. I sat. Trying to think of things for which to be grateful. I found a few things, but I had to look hard.
I am grateful for a folding chair that has a little padding and a cloth seat in this cold dark storage room.
I am grateful for that door stop that is attached to the storage room door. Door stops don’t get enough credit. They are so handy, but no one ever tells them thank you.
I am grateful that I wore a dress jacket since that air is blowing directly on me.
I am grateful that I am in this dark storage room so that I do not have to see the pictures, see the tears, see the sadness.
She was 49. My age. She has two daughters. Just like I do. She won her fight with breast cancer on my Mom’s birthday and finally got to go home, although she left a huge family and many friends behind to go on without her. I saw the reflection of her many pictures in the window of the door with the door stop as I sat and waited for my contribution to her service at the keyboard. I sat and felt heavier and colder and more sad as each smiling face, funny face, cheek-to-cheek picture appeared and then disappeared.
The day was dreary anyway, with a blanket of cold, wet fog covering Kansas City. It began this morning with a text message.
” Our little girl is not good. The doctors told us she is critical and they are very worried about her. The pressures in her heart are climbing and so far the medicine is not helping. Told us she is not old enough for a lung transplant…”
She is 12. 12 days. 12 days of anticipating her homecoming to a pretty little nursery. 12 days for her brothers and sister, waiting, drawing pictures for her, anxious to have a new little sister to play with. 12 days of anguish for Mommy and Daddy sitting in the bright lights room with beeps and machines and tubes and screens and sanitizer and the helpless smiles and shoulder squeezes that quietly say, “I’m so sorry.” That silently say, “I’m here for you but I don’t have words.”
The sadness is through to my bones tonight. It leaves a lump in my throat and another in my stomach. And I am reminded of the words spoken by the pastor this morning, the same words that came to mind in my darkest of days two years ago, three years ago, and 34 years ago:
I am grateful that in the middle of sadness, in the middle of the dreary of life, in the middle of the lump, God is here. He is part of the story. He IS the story.
I sit in the darkness of the evening. I sit in silence, the ballgame on TV and the quiet popping in the fireplace the only sounds of the night. The latest message that all is being done to keep her comfortable, that the lights have been lowered in the room, only makes the lump a little larger. But as we wait for the next update, I am grateful. I am grateful that even in the storm, even in the dreary, even in the sad, I know that He is the story, that my precious Lord was holding her hand, is holding a little girl’s hand right now, and will hold my hand…