How Can I Keep from Singing?

17 10 2011

11 years ago my life was in ruins. I don’t say that to be dramatic—I came fairly close to death, and when the physical crisis passed, my soul ached so much I wasn’t sure I still wanted to be alive.

11 years ago I’d lost my perfect baby girl and my heart was broken into so many pieces I didn’t think I’d ever find them all, much less fit them back together.

Each year I await October 15 with no small amount of trepidation. I once burst into tears in the middle of work because I couldn’t open my container of yogurt. It’s a day filled with tears and haunting memories (and soggy food). I brace myself as best I can, but it’s kind of like putting up a wood fence to protect myself from an oncoming freight train.

This year I’ve had bronchitis in the weeks leading up to Maggie’s birthday. I finally started to feel better…which meant I was well enough to work my 10-hour shift. That meant I’d be tired AND emotionally unstable. Dangerous combination.

When I woke up in the morning Car had gone to the store and bought me a rose. He was making coffee cake.

Work was busy in the morning, and I didn’t have time to think about anything. When I finally sat down I checked the online classifieds and found the perfect bike, for an amazing price. I emailed it to Car, who then arranged for my parents to watch the kids and made a 3 hour round trip drive to buy it. My day ended riding a grown-up trike with a built-in kid seat (big enough for both boys), listening to Big & Little G squeal with delight.

Because i love it so, behold The Bike!

At church today, Little G wandered over and climbed into my lap. He wrapped his arms around my neck and let me rock him for quite a while—a rare occurrence, now that he’s 3. As I rocked my youngest and looked at my oldest, sitting next to me and lining up his cars in neat little rows, I got a little weepy.

I had a moment.

In that moment, I realized something amazing: losing Maggie was a horrible tragedy, but dwelling on the sadness of that event would be so very ungrateful of me. Is it okay to be sad? Of course. But I’ve been so richly blessed in the last 11 years. My boys aren’t a replacement for Maggie, but they’re miracles and I cherish them. (I almost typed “I cherish every moment with them,” but we all know that’s a load of crap. I definitely cherish them, though.) Because of my religion I have a strong belief that Maggie will be part of our family again, and I’m grateful for that. I have a husband who’s stuck by me in situations that would’ve driven away any sane lesser man. I have a home, a job…heck, I even have a 14-year-old low-rider labrador retriever.

I ask you, how can I keep from singing?

My life goes on in endless song
above earth’s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

*No, Google! Bad Google!

***How can you keep from singing lyrics? Try humming! Ba-dum-ching!

****I totally killed the whole uplifting vibe thing I had going there, didn’t I? Sorry about that.

*****Here, I’ll fix it: Yay! Life is great! I’m so blessed! Bad things happen, but I’m grateful for all of the good in my life!

******All better? Coolio. Carry on, then.



3 responses

24 10 2011
Anne Garrett Addison

And you made me cry again…dammit. So the thing is, 8 years ago 10/16/11, I lost my best friend – my mom. She was not very old – at least for MY family, what with Aunts Ora and Grace passing the 100 mark, 67 seemed like a spring chicken (more so as I approach 50!) The pastor chose the theme of her memorial, “How Can I Keep from Singing?!” because she was the choir director. Bwahhhhh. And then few years later, my baby G joined a boy choir and what do they sing at the summer concert?? yes…that song. I thought I’d managed to get through this past week remarkable tear free when, yay, I get Jenny’s blog. I love Jenny’s blog because it always makes me smile…except when it makes me bawl! At least this time you made me smile through the tears and remember how blessed I am – you know – what with four boys and the man, and the animals… I figure she’s watching out for me. Not sure much else could keep these crazy boys alive what with the emergency room visits (we have a fast-pass), and wow, firecrackers go boom, and whoa, you’re not supposed to climb on the roof of the middle school to retrieve your hackey sack? who knew about them rules?! Yes…I need her up there cause of all the blessings (ahem) I’ve got down here. Thanks for the reminder.


17 10 2011
Wendy Sparrow

That’s an incredible bike. I want it so badly that I can taste the metal.

I’m glad you made it through another October 15th. *hugs*

17 10 2011

:)) Light and love to you all.
That’s a pretty awesome bike. I might be jealous.

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