30 May 2012

This Messy Thing Called Life

Oh, my friends. 

I didn't plan on stepping away. But I've struggled for words lately. It seems like the more I have to say, the more I want to say it just right.

You see, my heart is heavy. Oh so heavy with the real trials and aches and pains of life.

But, on the other hand, my heart is so happy and light, I'm afraid it will just bubble up and float away during one of these moments of heart-lifting joy. 

And that leaves me confused. 

What do I talk about?

The heavy heart-wrenching moments? The heart-lifting joy? Neither? Both?

And in the end, what I've come down to is this: real life is messy and complicated and you can feel absolute heart-rending sadness and in the next moment be laughing giddily at the sheer pleasure of being alive. 

There are no guarantees in this messy business called life. And you have every right to laugh in the middle of the tears. That right also includes the time and respect needed to truly experience those emotions in the moment. Letting yourself feel the emotions helps you to set down those emotions when the time comes too.

Some of the heart-heavy moments?

I spent some time with Grandma lately....there'll be more posts as I collect my thoughts....but she's declining. Not as much as I expected in some respects and much worse in others. And it shatters my heart that the moments of joy I can bring her are far less often and for far less time than in the past. She's world-weary and ready to move on and it's showing.

A heart-lifting joy?

I surprised everyone, including myself, and flew down to South Carolina at the very last minute to watch both my brothers play in the championship game for the national college lacrosse championships. My youngest brother, taking after my dad, figured out the surprise before I got there. But the middle brother? Oh, the sheer surprise and joy on his face when he came down to breakfast on game day and saw me there.....that alone, was worth every penny of the last minute airfare. And the hug he gave me in the middle of all his teammates? I'll fly anywhere, any time, always, for a hug like that from him. Those are rare and incredibly special coming from him, and absolutely are worth the trip.

But heart-wrenchingly, they lost. In the last inning, by a point. It hurt us all. The team has worked so hard, so long to win this championship and we all believed the middle brother would graduate this year with a championship title to share with his younger brother. Instead, he took the loss heart-breakingly hard.

And as difficult as it was to stand there after the game and support the team, I'm so glad I was there anyway. If nothing else, it showed my brothers that anywhere, anytime they need me, I'll find a way to be there for them.

There was joy in seeing Joe again after two very long weeks apart. He spent quite a bit of time on the road for work in his business consultant job and there's a new comfort in knowing our time apart now is so short after all those years of long-distance. That we can just slide in after time apart and pick up the pieces like we last saw each other ten minutes ago.

Sometimes I just need to step back, buckle down, get through, celebrate, process, just take in the moment, but I try my best to share it all....good, bad, in-between, because that's real life. And I'm learning that life   becomes real and special and the ordinary little moments become extraordinary when you share it with friends and loved ones. 

1 comment:

Karen C said...

Oh Katie,life definitely is messy. Completely surprising your siblings is definitely fun. We got my brother once years ago with a similar tale. So awesome. My heart breaks for you and your grandma. I well remember how hard that was. I can tell you that even now more than 15 years since my grandma died, her love is still so clear in my heart. Sending big hugs your way.