when they walk away...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

i don't think it matters.

i think i'm becoming bold enough to say those words.

i don't think it matters...

you came home this evening and fell onto the bed beside me, as though the day after turning 38 had felt the need to add some extra weight onto your shoulders.

you began saying their names quietly, one after the other. i felt overwhelmed by the number...i hadn't realized they were all related.

and then you said it,

their dad decided that he was done this weekend.  he left. up and walked away...

i don't think it matters...

whether you are six years old or edging closer to forty,

when a parent up and decides you are no longer worth being there for,

nothing compares to that ache.

i didn't hear the gunshots this evening, i only heard the sirens...i saw them all crowding on the front steps and huddled close together.

i was trying to find our three because it was time to go home and i still had one more stop to make.

i got to the door and it was repeated to me, gunshots had been fired, i needed to stay inside.

i knew you were inside,

but the last i had heard, our three were out in that playground.

my kids!! are my kids in the playground??

even i heard the desperation in my voice.

and i felt them all press in close, those children who deal with situations like these on a regular basis i'm sure, as though pressing in close presses in comfort and i was moved back into safety while another went out to search for my own...

they were inside, near you. at least, they knew where you were and they felt safe.  we got out to our van while the police lights were still flashing, while streets were blocked off and i drove away and you stayed behind.

you stayed behind and learned of one more family who has been rejected by a parent and you carry it home.

you stayed behind and listened to the brokenness and filled hands with food to get them through the next few days.

you stayed behind...

 and where can it go but at Jesus' feet?

because it can't go anywhere else. it can't. 

we can't make the parents around us fight for their children,

we can't make dead daddies come back to life,

we can't make mamas stop wandering to circle around and come back home.

you lay beside me in the bed we share and we aren't immune,

our children have experienced their own deep losses,

we wrestle with our own questions and bewilderment.

and in the silence you turn towards me and you say with an intensity i know is stamped with your integrity,

i'm not going anywhere.  do you know that?  i. am. not. going. anywhere.

and i know.  i know, tony.

because you could have walked away at any point. you asked if you could pursue me 2 weeks before you turned 26 and i know what you have faced choosing to stay with me. 

walking away would have been the easy and understandable thing to do.

you turned 38 yesterday and gunshots were fired today and i know that nothing short of death would ever cause you to leave.

and yet there is loss all around us and this is what your life is teaching me every day:  death can be walking alive among us because bitterness eats the living whole and when i begin to turn inward to what hurts, you cup my face and you turn my eyes back to Jesus and remind me that they only way i can walk as one living is to walk with my eyes focused on Him. 

 to lay what hurts down at His feet.

to press in close ~ to each other, to Jesus ~ because to press in close presses in comfort and pushes out what will kill our souls.

i could have celebrated you yesterday and lost you today and yet He gives us one more day together. one more day to walk through and work through and learn to press into.  

and so, even with the heaviness that this day has brought, with the hurt and pain that we walk into everyday, i want to say how thankful i am for the chances that He gives everyday to celebrate you.  

happy birthday, my tony.

i love you.