Sing for the joy that's found in setting up the pins and knocking them down
Saturday, August 29, 2015
What he said.
This week I was in my garage deciding the final fate of a couple of boxes of books that my family had set aside for me to look through at such a time as this. They had tucked away a couple of pictures, cards, memorabilia that they thought I might want to keep. Amongst those books was another Valentine's Day card from Eric, no idea what year or how it had first been presented to me. It was one of those word-covered Hallmark cards that takes commitment and time to read through. I opened it up just to see what his scribbly handwriting said at the end of it. When he did give me cards, he always said something sweet, something funny or something that only I would understand. This was one of his sweet ones. I smiled and thought, you probably could have done so much better but you were stuck with me and I laid the card on the keep pile. I went back to sorting through the books and yearbooks, but was stopped by the overwhelming need to pick up the card and read his scribbles once again.
Now the backstory in my head, particularly this last month, is that being a single parent is hard under the best and most ideal circumstances. Anyone who is a parent knows the effort it takes to keep kids headed in the right direction--socially, academically and spiritually. There's been plenty of doubt about Eagle Scout projects, college choices, skirt lengths, video games and the hundred other things that parents have a hand in each day. Eric had high standards for his children and some days I feel like I'm stuck with cashing the check that he wrote. Most days I'm happy for the things he started with the kids--the strong foundations that he put in place regarding morals, religious convictions, the importance of humor, but some days I'd like to give him a piece of my mind about leaving me alone to finish the three biggest projects that he left undone. Lately there has been more of the latter. There are lots of doubts about my consistency, my strictness, my slackness, you name it. I also realize that every parent has these fears even with a very capable co-parent standing by their side. Back to my story.
So I stood in my garage, knee deep in my parental self doubt and I once again read Eric's words, "I couldn't have done any better. ~E" This message of comfort replaced the message of flattery from years past. It was as real and meaningful as if he had been standing there delivering it to me in his booming voice with his arms wrapped around me, my crying face buried in his chest. I stood there, feeling not quite as alone, and cried. Not so much for the words from my kids' missing father, but because of the heavenly father that I Eric and I share who had set me up for this moment. My family had salvaged this paper card from several boxes of books that I had given to them and said just do whatever you want with them. They had tucked it away, and my heavenly father had orchestrated me finding it on a hard day where it felt like everything was caving in. There, alone, in my garage, once again amazed. Perfect timing. Comfort. Encouragement. Renewed strength for the journey