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Friday, August 26, 2011

Writer's Block

So it has been a week since my last blog post.  I would like to say that I have been really busy doing lots of new and interesting things and now I'm back to tell you all about them.  I would like to say that I've been on vacation, somewhere a few degrees cooler than North Texas these days, and I have a few anecdotes to share from my travels abroad.  Neither of these statements is true, though, and since I strive for rigorous honesty in all things, I'm going to tell you the truth.  I have a killer case of writer's block.

I have opened up blogger every day of this past week and clicked on "new post."  On some days I have typed a paragraph or two on various topics relevant to my life and faith journey.  Then I have read back over those paragraphs, highlighted each and every word, and hit the delete key.  Because it all stunk to varying degrees.  Some of it was just slightly pungent, the "does this milk smell right to you?" variety of writing.  Some of it was reminiscent of manure.  None of it was fit to be shared.

Then there were the other days when I stared at the blank page ahead of me and... nothing.  Not a word.  No ideas whatsoever.  Nada.  I'm not sure which feeling is worse, having something to share and being unable to phrase it in a decent manner or being unable to think of anything of possible value.  I had begun to think I'd run out of things to say, but, if you know me and know therefore how much I talk, you see that this concept is both ludicrous and absurd.

I pray before and after every blog post.  I pray before I write that the Spirit guide me on which words to use or topics to share.  I pray before I hit "publish post" that God bless what I've written and bless others through it.  So unlike other times in my life when I've hit a writing wall (Exhibit A:  the tomes of novels begun and never finished), this particular case of writer's block seemed to have a spiritual element to it. That being said, I was unwilling to explore the matter further.  I just shut down the PC for the day and wished myself better luck tomorrow.

It is a pretty good indication that if you really don't want to look into something, if you are hesitant to so much as scratch the surface and ask "so, what's going on with me?" that there is, indeed, something going on.  For me it usually is the same thing and this time was no exception.  I just miss Eddie.  Although my life is better and happier for having had him, there is always the underlying reality that I have lost someone I loved more than life itself.  I don't get to see him again this side of heaven and, even when I'm coping well with that fact, it still really stinks.

One of my best friends was telling me the other day  that her son asked her what happened to Eddie.  She said that she started crying as she was explaining it and that her husband said, "It's just so wrong."  I remember another friend expressing the same sentiment while staring at Ed's teeny-tiny casket the day before his funeral. And it is.  It's really, really wrong.  There is something so unnatural for a parent to bury their child, especially one so young.  And sometimes I just have to allow myself to say, "This hurts and that sucks."

As usual, I allow myself a little while to visit this head space, but never to stay.  We live in a fallen and broken world.  Things happen to us, to our children, that should never, ever happen.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that we have a Savior.  That Jesus Christ died for our sins, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.  So even though this world is fallen, we don't have to be.  Even though tragedies strike, they don't have to define us.  Even though we experience pain, we also may experience joy, communion and communication with a heavenly Father who loves us and never fails to bring us comfort.

As I was writing this post, I felt the need to find out why my children were being so blessedly quiet.  I found them hiding behind an armchair in the living room, whispering, and divvying up the contents of my purse.  And while I, of course, retrieved my debit card and various other assorted items from the hands of the preschoolers, I did so with a smile and a laugh.  I did it with gratitude for these two little lights in my life that never fail to dispel the darkness of my grief.  I did it with a prayer of thanks to the God of Light who has blessed me so richly and held me so dearly even on the blackest nights.  We don't have to dwell on the shadows; we are always welcome to live in the Light.  So I'm going to take a couple deep breaths and focus on what I have, not on what I've lost, and rejoice in this bright and beautiful day that the Lord has made.

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