I went back to work today covering for someone who quit. Some people are such that when they leave, we gather for a meal to say good bye with them. Other people are such that we wait until they round the corner and throw a party that they are finally gone! This one was one of the latter.
But it meant that I was working with my old crew, people who had been there over the last several years with me. One is a lady who hated me when I came, but grew to love me. We are good friends - now... years later. It was she who volunteered to work any overtime to take my shifts when we got back if I didn't feel able to yet. She is a widow whose husband died of cancer the year before I began to work there.
Today she saw me and asked how I was. I said I was good. Still later in the evening, she walked into a room alone with me and asked again, "How are you really doing? Are things good? How are things at home? Have you really recovered yet?"
And you know what? Today, I could answer her that I have. Yes, I'd doing ok. And she smiled and said, "Good. You look good, you know. You look like you are recovered now, not like when you first came back. You're looking like yourself again."
I smiled. I am. I'm feeling good. Normal. (yeah, would still like to get my house back to normal.....)
I think today while I was thinking about it, I figured out one more thing - one more piece of the puzzle, and figuring it out set my heart just that little more at peace. There was something I had wanted after this all, and because of what happened in the immediate aftermath, it was something I did not get. A small thing, but one I so very much wanted. As time went by, I began to question this one... why is it such a big deal? Why do you see it as such a loss? It didn't seem to fit - the weight of the feelings of loss much greater than the actual loss itself.... so I talked it out in my head... trying to explain to myself why I had wanted it... what I would have felt if I had got it... then I realized where it came from.
A loss from years ago. It was something I lost a long time ago. This loss at this time was a reflection of that... something that I long for because there is already an ache in me for this. That ache has nothing to do with the events that happened this year, but from long ago. So this thing I did not get became big... the weight of former pain behind it.
Now I understand it. It doesn't take it away, but it helps me to understand. I then can be honest with myself - about something I don't think I had ever put words to before. "I lost this... that day... and I miss it." "I thought I would ease that ache with that... but when I did not get a chance to have that, it hurt." The hurt then is down to size... it was a small thing really, but a small thing with a big ache behind it.
What to do with the big ache? Bring it to God. I've been here before, and I know this path. Bring it to Him, acknowledge it, lay it before Him, and sit back watching. I've never had Him fail to meet me in my pain. Never - even when I thought there was no answer for some hurts. He's had a way. So I bring it to Him.
"I haven't had this since.... and I miss it... Part of me aches because I needed this.... I still need it..."