One December, bright and clear

For the longest time, the month of December has sucked. It’s always been a hard month. Various things have happened in December over the past 6 years, and it’s just an incredibly difficult month. I last saw my father that December morning, 6 years ago (I moved out on October 31, but I last saw him in December). 5 years ago, I was in the psych ward over December. Various things happened over the years, and December just seems to be the month when the shit always hits the fan.

Christmas holds a lot of painful memories. And it’s hard to have a “good” Christmas in spite of all that, in spite of all the pain and anger that also happens over the holiday season.

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
let your heart be light,
next year all our troubles will be far away…

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
make the Yulitude gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

Once again, as in golden days,
happy golden days of old
Faithful friends that are dear to us,
Will be dear to us once more

Some day soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow,
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

I know that Christmas will always be difficult. I know that I won’t be spending it with my biological family, and, well, that sucks. There’s no sugar-coated, candy-frosted way to say it, it sucks. But until the day when I’m able to accept things, until the day where I spread my wings and fly, I can allow myself to have a “Merry Little Christmas” until then.

Every lament is a love song

My dad’s dad died in 1975.
My Grandma Dixie (dad’s mom) died when I was eight.
My Pawpaw (Mom’s dad) died when I was nineteen.
My Mawmaw (Mom’s mom) died when I was twenty-three.
There was my great uncle, my great aunt, etc, etc, you get the picture. I’ve been to more funerals than weddings in my lifetime.

I’ve had various friends die over the years. Most were ones I used to be close to but then fell out of touch with. One I used to be close to, then we had a fight and never made up. Others, I just got busy and selfish with life and we just didn’t talk anymore. And it sucks. I have various memorials set up in my room to various people: a stuffed pee cup for Nick (LONG STORY), the teddy bears Rachel sent me long ago, my grandpa’s beanie baby lady bug, the list goes on.

Hell, I just don’t grieve well, I don’t think. I stuff and I stuff and I stuff and I stuff. My puppy (Pirate wasn’t even a year old when he died) died 10 years ago and I still haven’t fully processed it.) But my biggest fear is that I am going to die young. I’m plagued by health problems. What if I die young? What if I leave friends behind asking the same questions I am asking now? What if it isn’t my health that takes me, but a car accident? Something else? Will I leave behind a legacy?

I just can’t help but wonder these things. I’m terrified of dying.

Mrs. Tanner: Sweetie, I’m seventy-four years old, I’m ready to go.
J.D.: Yeah, but with dialysis, you could live another…eighty or ninety years.
Mrs. Tanner: I think you’re being a little irrational.
J.D.: No I’m not.
Mrs. Tanner: Everybody dies sometime.
J.D.: No they don’t.

***

Dr. Cox: (In mock crying voice) But what about our duty as doctors? (Back to normal voice) Look. This is not about Mrs. Tanner’s dialysis, this is about you. You’re scared of death, and you can’t be; you’re in medicine for chrissakes. Sooner or later, you’re going to realize that everything we do around here, everything is a stall. We’re just trying to keep the game going, that’s all. But, ultimately, it always ends up the same way.

***

I’m terrified of death, which is odd considering I was hospitalized in 2006 due to being suicidal and in a crisis home for the same reason in 2009. But I’m terrified of death. It scares me senseless. and that’s just… I don’t even know. I’m out of words to describe how it makes me feel. But I know that my health is falling apart. I know I’m not a healthy 24 year old.

And it breaks my heart that one day, likely while I’m still young, my friends will be wrestling with the same gut-wrenching questions that I wrestle with.

Every lament is a love song,
yesterday, yesterday,
I still can’t believe you’re gone…

I’ve known sorrow, I have known pain.

How ironic. Part of what I’m currently struggling with in Christianity, is right here in front of me. Aye yi yi. I had this convo with my friend Nick a few times. We both suffered from extreme physical ailments, and both lived in constant pain. Nick was one of the strongest Christians I was ever blessed to know. I wish we hadn’t had those fights last summer, and I wish he hadn’t died this summer. Because I would love to make up, I would love to discuss this stuff with him. But one song he introduced me to (and was also at his funeral) was a song by Chris Tomlin: “And I will rise when He calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain.”

Carry forth on to Luther!

” I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses,” (SC, Article 1).

Honestly? I take issue with this. Quite a bit of issue, actually. Fine. God created me. But he created me faulty. When I complained about this as a child, I was told “God don’t make junk” and that “all things work together for His glory”. All fine and good and well, I suppose. But when I suffer from so many ailments, I can’t help but wonder if I somehow got overlooked. I think this is the one aspect of Christianity I struggle with the most. God created me, my limbs, eyes, etc. And these things don’t work right and as each day goes on, fall more and more apart. And it’s a struggle, because there’s so much pain in it. I hope that one day I can grow to accept it, and that I can find God in the midst of my pain. But right now? I cannot.

“For here we see how the Father has given Himself to us, together with all creatures, and has most richly provided for us in this life, besides that He has overwhelmed us with unspeakable, eternal treasures by His Son and the Holy Ghost, as we shall hear.” (LC, Article 1, num 24)

I suppose this blog post isn’t very uplifting. I try to have one uplifting part, but I’m sick and struggling right now, so it’s just not there. I struggle with the fact that “God has provided” when I struggle to make ends meet. When I make my small amount of money I get a month get all the things I need: food, bills, medicine, laundry, etc. I know that at the end of the day all my needs are met, but the stress that goes through making sure they are all is difficult. And even though I know there are eternal treasures in store, I still struggle to believe.

Heh. Slightly depressing post this time, but I guess it happens at times. Such is life.

Author Reflections:
Kinda odd how I keep looping back to the subject of struggling with how God made me. Guess he’s trying to teach me something, eh? Guess this is something I need to learn. Guess it’s something that’s really hitting me lately. That’s okay. Maybe I’ll learn and accept it, or maybe it’s something I’ll always struggle with. I think it’s perfectly okay to not always have the answers as much as we may want them.

Every lament is a love song.

“I close my eyes, and I see your face. If home’s where my heart is, then I’m out of place. Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow? I’ve never been more homesick than now. “

“Memories surround me but sadness has found me, I’d give anything for more time. Never before has someone meant more, and I can’t get you out of my mind.”

Grief is a funny thing. When we lose a loved one, a family member or a friend or even a beloved pet, it’s like a suckerpunch to the stomach. Loss hurts when we expect it, but it also throbs when it blindsides us. It aches deep within when it’s a young life, when you’re left with the “Why him? He was so young and held so much promise. Why her? She had such a passion for Christ!” It throbs when it’s an older person, as you look at all they’ve accomplished in life and you’re left with just your memories, treasuring each one but yet longing for more.

It’s funny, because from the moment you get the phone call that they’re gone, from the moment you get the email, the text, the Facebook message, your heart stops. Everything, for that moment, end. And you’re plagued with regret. For one friendship you regret falling out of touch even though many times you felt the tug to get back in contact. For another one, you’re plagued by the text message and Facebook argument that was never resolved and you completely fell out. It doesn’t change the pain and anger from a life loss, and the flood of memories from the good times.

The different types of grief are difficult. The fresh, raw grief that is like a sudden sharp knife, and the dull, aching grief that remains once the initial wave has worn off. No matter how you slice it, it sucks and it hurts.