Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Eight-Month Report Card

Dear John,
 
I saw a commercial tonight for a Chia Pet. Heaven help us. (That reminds me, for some reason, of that day near the end of September, 2001, when we were in Goshen and saw the sign that said, "Pumpkin Blizzards are back - God Bless America.")
 
It's been eight months now that you've been gone, and today I've looked back over those months and tried to make some sense of them. I still have no sense of time, so I can't say that it seems longer or shorter than eight months. I continue to have this feeling of time moving along under me but not touching me in any way.
 
I am amazed at all that has happened here at home. I re-did the house for Jen and Elyssa, they lived here a little short of six months, and now I'm re-doing the house again. Elyssa started school, Jen found a great apartment (half of a house, really), and they're doing well.
 
The business and financial things are also doing well. The medical bills should be settled by the end of the year - I thought it would take at least until spring. I still need another source of income, but I'm doing all I can and trusting that the Lord is working on it and will provide in His way and His time. And, as Atticus Finch said to Scout, it's not time to worry yet.
 
I'm surviving the first-year milestones. Jen, Kathy, and Father Matthew are teaching me to be gentle with myself. I'm not a horrible person if I sometimes eat comfort food, or opt out and say that I can't. I've always thought I was lazy and irresponsible, but other people see me as very driven and disciplined. I don't have all that reconciled yet. But I do buy Pop Tarts once in a while.
 
And that leaves me. What has happened with me these eight months? I'm not sure. I don't cry as much, but I'm not sure that I hurt any less. I'm content, and I don't know how I can be content with this much pain. But I've always had a tremendous capacity for pain. And contentment is what I value - happiness is an invalid category. I've found that I'm being given opportunities to do things for other people, and I welcome them. I'm amazed to be loved so much by so many. And that seems to be the foundation of my survival - I matter more than I ever knew, to more people that I ever dreamed - and in that case, I will survive.
 
By the way, I was wrong about the Mayan calendar - the world is supposed to end on the 21st, so there's still hope. Yesterday must have been the Aztec date - I never can tell them apart.
 
So that's my eight-month report. I do hope this is Pass/Fail. Please keep praying for me, as I do for you. I love you with all my heart - that will never change.
 
Yours forever,
Joan.

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