It is January the 12th… It would seem like just an unimportant date to many, but for me, this was my wedding date, over 26 years ago.
Winter has always been a season I really enjoyed. Perhaps the fields of the white stuff, that I can tromp through, and shovel into big piles, always filled me with wonder…I’m not sure.. I just know that I like the cold..
This may seem like a preposterous notion to revel in ice and snow, but because it was balanced with the promise of a crackling wood fire, hot coffee, warm sweaters, and cozy socks, and the promise of home, it was a symbiance I craved.
I recall quite clearly praying for a blanket of snow for my wedding day… The idea of white covering up all the stark grey and browns of the landscape seemed perfect.. Narnia..
Waking up that morning, and realizing there was in fact many inches of snow that had fallen, and that there was a winter storm that had ensued through the night hours, made me kind of shake my head in wonderment.
My Grandma Hayhoe had sewn me a long white velvet cape, and a sumptuous grey/white fox tail adorned it’s collar. It was very “Doctor Zhivago.”
It was dramatic, and when I put it around my shoulders, to cover my raw silk white wedding gown, I felt like a princess. I had borrowed my cousin, Miriam’s white lace up boots for the day, so I had the “something borrowed” part well covered.
My hair was done up in wringlets, and my overflowing Bouquet of flowers laid heavy in my arms..They were a profusion of pinks, whites, yellows, and purples, with lilies dotted with red… and the scent coming off them was intoxicatingly sweet.
I remember this day..there was so much expectation…
There was a promise of a bright future ahead.
We had borrowed my Dad’s beloved 1932 Ford Model A for the day. It only went about 35 miles per hour so there would be no speeding through the slush to get to the church on time.
Pondering this memory today, I’m not quite sure what to do with my thoughts. What does a person do when their marriage has ended, when this day is no longer their wedding anniversary.
It is unexpected… sorta like death… even though we know death will come to us all, we often put it to the back of our minds… it’s just a distant thought… it’s a long way off..like divorce..It won’t happen to me.
I have the dress, the long velvet cloak, the boots, the flowers.. and yes.. even the groom.. what could go wrong?
Well…it turns out the unexpected happens when you are carefully laying out your future. Setting up potentially how many children you will have, will there be a dog, and two cats, a bird? What kind of car would be appropriate, and somewhere along the way, would we get to set up our first home?
These are all grand ideas, and dreams that many young brides think on, as their wedding day approaches.
I had often heard people say that marriage was hard work, but “ oh no,” I knew better.. I was evolved, and I had the world by the tail. How can it be work after all? You met, you fell in love, you had perfect children, your husband would become wildly successful, and you would have a beautiful house in the country.. batta bing…. batta boom!
How does a person plan for the “ unexpected” after all? It’s not expected. The very word tells us that.
When those things come into your life.. what then? How do you react? How do you not lose it? There will be occurrences everywhere that are happening right in this slice of time that will blow somebody’s world apart. It’s go time for them… for you, for me.. nah… it will pass us by… we hope.
I was proud… I knew the statistics… There was a 98%+ chance that couples with a “special needs” child will end in divorce.. But.. no way, I thought, this won’t happen to us…. I won’t let it…! I am in control.. Master of my fate.. Captain of my soul.
Turns out.. not so much.. I was not as in control of these things as I thought. I was more than fallible, imperfect. I was flawed! What… a total shocker.. I know…I was proud..
There were things that I did wrong.. lots of things… I have had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way.. Maybe some of us are more like that than others. We don’t believe the truth about ourselves, and our lives, until the rug, the foundation on which we thought our “little house of cards” was built, blows over, like someone switched the fan to the on button.
The cards are all over the place… and it feels like a big mess…. but somehow, you can’t bring yourself to gather up the deck and start again. It is ominous, it is the unknown…it would have to be a new birth.. a beginning..
The unknown…. yikes… Your ice has been shattered, the shards are laying all around you, but the fresh cool water from below your wounds is waiting to flow free, to melt all of your ice, to cleanse you, and to create a stream of peace all the way throughout your body.
A new you can break through. You will be different, you have changed… hopefully for the better, but change is coming… it is a time to heal… to renew, to dream new dreams, learn some new ideas, and become the next you, that perhaps you could not have become, if these things had not entered your life.
Turns out that letting your guard down, and letting people in to your “pain space, “ can be one of the most blessed and treasured places to exist.
Being vulnerable puts you out there, no doubt about it… it’s frightening to let others see your weakness. It feels better to hide in your apartment,( speaking for myself of course, )but does it really?… NO… it can be positively lonely at times…
The sound of a distant train echoing off the Rockies, brings an eerie comfort. Sound bouncing off rock…reverberating back, like a boomerang…. there is life…. again.. It returns…New life can even to be found, if I can grab hold, and expect the unexpected, it will happen…
I must trust in the infinite possibilities, the challenges, the unchartered waters that lay before.
Asking people to pray for you in your weakness, in your discomfort, in your fear and sorrow is hard stuff. Where on earth did we get the notion that we were supposed to have it all together? Who fed us that line of BS?
I read this the other day, that a woman learned while she was volunteering at a Hospice facility. It really resonated with me. “ We are human beings, not human doings.” To sit right beside a person, to hold their hand, to walk beside them, or lift them when they have fallen, requires us to just “be.” We will miss these opportunities, if we are so crazed with the “doing” that life preaches at us.
The agenda is to be a “human being” alongside our fellow voyagers, and not miss the important life lessons that are being breathed into us all along the way. “ I don’t want to miss a thing.”
Pain, and suffering are just as much a part of the human experience, as is happiness, self fulfillment, and joy.
There are some new roads to travel, new plans to make, and special people to meet.
There are memories to cherish, and others to let float gently away… to leave in the past… kind of like here….
It was a place from before… where your heart once lived, but now, it’s moving forward, into that great unknown, and this heart will find a new spot of her own.. to land… A shed of sorts… is waiting to become something new because it’s waiting for me, and I will know it when I see it, and it will be a new home to land in… there is hope in this…
I felt these words so strongly today, as I changed plans again, and redirected my thoughts heavenward,
”Behold I am doing a new thing.. can you not feel it?”(words by Jesus)
I did not “hear” these words, but I know they were meant for me, as sure as I’m sitting here… and this brings the “ peace that passes all understanding.” This makes all the difference..for this is a peace that cannot be taken away…(again… Jesus… not me..)
2 thoughts on “Expect the Unexpected…..”
So incredibly honest and beautiful. Thank you from me who has struggled through 2.
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Thank you so much Joan… of course as you know, there is much more to say… but the struggle to regain your sense of balance.. is well… challenging to say the least. You feel pretty much like you’ve been through the blender, without the margarita mix!🍹