It’s been a crazy summer. Crazy year, as far as that goes. There have been times, especially lately, when it seems like everything just falls down on the head and keeps coming. Trying to keep up with it just makes me nauseous, which I really don’t need since my stomach stays in a mess anyway.
Everywhere I turn, there’s pain. Not just mine, but everybody else’s. My husband has a high tolerance for physical pain. I typically do, too. It’s the emotional pain that wrecks you. Makes you wonder and question everything you know. Why me? Why him? Why that? Why now? Why ever? Why?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for questioning. I teach science and I believe that the way we understand is to question. You can ask why for as long as you want to. But ultimately, in some cases, the truth comes out and the bottom line is, there’s no answer. It’s just is that way. That’s all.
Well, now, that’s just not fair. Let’s rant and rave and get mad and stomp our feet and demand an answer. Okay, go ahead. It’ll make you feel better. I know that for a fact because I’ve done it myself and there’s a stress relief from letting that energy go. Cathartic, I believe, is the term.
When the boys were little, I was determined to always give them a why for things. Alot of the times, it was easy. “Don’t bounce on your bed because if you fall you’ll bang your head and you’ll be in the hospital hooked up to ivs for the rest of your natural life.” “Don’t eat the candy left over from Halloween two years ago because it’ll make you sick and you’ll be in the hospital hooked up to ivs for the rest of your natural life.”
But as they got older, the answers got tougher. And because I’d always provided them with a why, and we’d worked hard at problem solving skills, when I came up with a why, they’d counter me. Even if my whys weren’t just lame excuses at providing one. So… Now what?
“Because that’s the way it is. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it upsets your life and it’s not what you want, but that’s how it is. Deal with it.”
Geez, those are tough words for a kid to hear. Infuriating. But the truth is, that’s life. It’s not right or fair and it ruins your plans sometimes. It’s not how you want it or what you wanted,, but it’s what you’ve got in front of you and there’s no other way to go but straight through it.
Why? I don’t know. I wish I did. I’d bottle it or write it down and make millions and I’d be right where I wanted to be. Life would be perfect.
But it’s not.
Why? I really don’t know. Still, I’ve had to come up with something that makes sense to me so I can survive at those moments when the pain gets so intense, I really think I’ll lose my mind.
It goes like this. As a parent, I’d like to protect my children from everything. When Elijah was little, we took up skating and I put pads all over him – knees, elbows, helmet on his head, gloves on his hands. And off we went, around the block. Up the great big hill, but down the smaller one. And here he came, at a nice little speed. Whoa…that’s not a nice little speed. Slow down, slow down, brake, brake!
And he didn’t. Well, he broke when he hit the pavement and slid down the hill on his knees. And those knee pads I so carefully put on him before we started off slid down to his calves, allowing the pavement to absolutely obliterate his knees. Oh, my.
So I gathered him up and took him home to clean up. And he’s crying and asking me why they didn’t protect him. Why didn’t they keep him from getting hurt? Why, mom?
Oh, sweetie. What do I say? Because sometimes, things just happen and we can’t change them. And they hurt, but we keep going and it’s okay. Really. You’ll make it. I promise. I’ll be right there with you and we’ll get through this together. Just hold on. Trust me. It’ll be okay.
Why do bad things happen? Because they do. Because know matter how prepared or good or wonderful or careful we are in life, sometimes, things just happen to us. For reasons we’re not supposed to understand. And it’s not fair. And it makes us angry. We rage against it, scream, yell, search for answers knowing they don’t exist.
WHY???? Why, God? Why do you let all of this happen? How can you not make it stop? I asked you to stop it and you didn’t. Why did this have to be? It hurts so bad. So many people hurting so much.
Because it did. And it hurts, but you keep going and it’s okay. Really. You’ll make it, I promise. I’ll be right there with you and we’ll get through this. Together. Just hold on. Trust me. It’ll be okay.
I know that, God. Just keep telling me that.
I’ve never stopped. Not since the day you became you.
I know. I just forget sometimes. Forgive me, Father.
Oh, sweetie. It’s already been done.