For the past month or so I’ve felt a bit like a toy of Pace’s. It’s a fairy with big collapsible wings and a long rope hanging from her feet. You wrap the rope tighter and tighter around her, and when you have her all bound as tightly as possible, you rip the rope as hard as you can and she goes spinning and flying all over the room. The rope’s been winding tighter and tighter around here, but I haven’t been able to find anybody to help me rip away the chord. I actually found myself mopping the kitchen last week and thinking, “If I had a genuine nervous breakdown, maybe I would get checked into the hospital and I could really rest.” THAT’S when you know you’re going nutso–when the hospital sounds like a fun break!
I told y’all about last week’s list…and getting sick. I did get my taxes turned in and have been chipping away at all the paper-work that has to be completed before Jeremiah can begin his fellowship in Seattle. It’s just that it wasn’t only the physical stress of having a lot of things to check off my “To Do” list. I was dealing with some mental anxiety as well. We were facing our second wedding without Mom. We were facing it without her…and with Konie. We were facing it without her, with Konie, and with my normally very sensitive Dad, sporting the sensitivity of…a tree stump :). Before I go any further, let me point out that I would not be telling you any of this if I had any anger, or even anything negative to say about Konie. She has been the picture of kindness, discretion, helpfulness,…absolutely great. Konie is not the problem. The hard situation was the problem.
Most men don’t like to talk, especially about awkward things like emotions or relationships. My Dad has never been most men. He lived in a house with five women, and while he is a man’s man from the top of his head to the tip of his toes, there is also nothing in the world that he likes more than to have us all gathered around him for a good talk. However, when Dad is under stress, his people skills and his emotional radar don’t tend to function very well. We know this. It’s not a new condition, but when you combine his extremely high stress level (wedding at his house, planning a lot of it himself, his own wedding a week away, taxes, demolition/remodeling beginning yesterday to get ready for Konie to move in, 2 daughters in college…) with the sensitive matters being handled you get a volatile mixture to say the least.
So, on Sunday afternoon, when the wedding was over, Taylor and I sat down at our dining room table with Dad and vented a whole lot of crap. And cried. And talked in circles. And cried. And could hardly talk because we were crying so hard. He listened, apologized for some things, explained some others, and also had a few areas where we had hurt his feelings as well (which I didn’t know was possible–shows how sensitive I am). It ended in hugs and relief, and eyes that were so swollen (on my part) that I could hardly keep them open.
I slept the entire drive back to Birmingham–until I was awakened by Jeremiah calmly but severely stating, “Abby, you need to wake up because something b.a.d. is happening with the car.” I opened my eyes and we were bu-bu-bu-bumping our way down the shoulder of I-65. A tow truck, some divinely placed family members that could cart 2 adults, 2 children, a dog, and enough wedding luggage to clothe a small country on to Birmingham, a friend who works at a Chevrolet dealership down the road from the break-down site, and $1300 later (agghhhh!) and all is well, with the car.
I, however, was still not doing what I would call well. I felt like somebody had significantly loosened the rope binding me, but it certainly wasn’t ripped off and letting me fly around the room. And then… … …I took my first run in real Spring weather. I almost didn’t go, because I still have a lot to do, and today was the first day my sickly lungs have felt 50-75% better. But I just WENT, and about 200 yards into the run I knew Somebody was about to set me free. I let it all go, pounded right out under the bottoms of my shoes. With the sunshine on my face, and cool air filling deep down into my lungs I let Winter out and welcomed Spring in. Then, I spotted the biggest Japanese Magnolia I’d ever seen. A profusion of big pink blossoms stretching towards the sky, a green lawn, and crisp white house in the background, and Somebody had ripped the cord–I was flying. On the drive home from the gym, we rolled all the windows down and I pointed out the beauty of the Japanese Magnolia to the girls. They proceeded to squeal with delight and point out each one that we passed (which are a lot in our neighborhood right now). We took the long way home just because none of us could get quite enough of the beauty and the wind. It’s funny what He uses, isn’t it?
**I “stole” both of these flower pictures from Google images. My camera is still in my car in Clanton 🙂