I’m sure you are thoroughly confused by the title of the post, as well as you are probably wondering why I’m blogging in the middle of the day ;). However, I couldn’t wait to share with you my story from today.
I woke this morning feeling “blah.” I’m sure you understand those days when the only adjective fit to describe your mood is just “blah.” I took C to school, and I began to mentally prepare myself to tackle the gazillion tasks set before me today. J’s death has brought with it endless errands, phone calls, text messages, emails, conference calls, visits to lawyers, CPA’s, banks, and the errands could continue on. This “stay at home mom,” never really actually “stays” at home. It is very easy to lose sight of any type of positive attitude in the midst of what feels like trudging through financial documents, legal conversations, and arguments with satellite companies.
As I arrived home to gather up the documents needed for today’s adventures, I began to feel angry at all the tasks set before me. I tried really hard to remember that I’m blessed, and that this too shall pass. But I sat in the spare bedroom this morning, and looked at the mounting paperwork that needs to be filed, and I took to navigating the IRS website in search of some kind of tax identification number. And, of course because of my attitude, nothing seemed to go right. I found myself becoming more and more angry. Nothing seemed to keep my anger and frustration at bay this morning. Even though I’m blessed with great friends who are willing to lend their knowledge to help me with these situations, I just kept thinking how unfair this was for me to have to tackle at 29.
No average 29 year old knows the terms “unearned and earned income vs death benefits, employee tax identification number, estate account, last month of the accounting year, probate, small estate affidavit…” I’m sure to most of you these terms might as well be Greek to you.
Stop right now, and count your blessings.
If you don’t know these terms, you are blessed! No one, unless working in the legal field, really wants to actually know these terms.
So, after finally getting the tax id number found, I sat in the room and just let my pity party continue; on the way to the bank, I threw myself a grand pity party parade in my car. I allowed my thoughts to continue to be negative. And then, bless the poor lady at the bank…I know she was trying. I tried to hide my negative attitude, but I’m quite certain I wasn’t successful. Finally after an hour and a half, we achieved our goal. I walked out and didn’t even thank her. I just kept adding more “pity” to my party, and more reasons to be upset to my agenda.
I had totally lost sight of perspective. Of how my life could be so much worse. But, being Wonder Woman, I had an agenda, and dang it, I was going to check off some more “tasks” on my to-do list. Next stop on the pity party express- TJMaxx.
Normally, one would think- shopping, YES! Nope, not this pity party express conductor! I needed an outfit to wear to Austin. J is receiving the Star of Texas award post humorously for his sacrifice in the line of duty, and I “had” to find an outfit. So, I picked out the first dress that seemed to fit and conveyed a graceful and elegant tone, and I went to find shoes. Never once did I stop to think about how blessed we are to live in a country where they honor those who sacrifice their lives for others. Nope, I just griped in my mind about having to buy another outfit.
Last stop on this detour was the jewelry counter. Actually, I was just going to wear a necklace J had given me and call it a day, but this beautiful string of fake (yes, fake!) pearls caught my eye. And, I stopped to glance. They were too expensive to justify buying, but the customer service representative insisted I try them on. So, for whatever reason I did. And, of course I fell in love with them.
She asked me the occasion I needed the jewelry for, and I snapped off a response something to the extent of “my husband was the officer killed in the line of duty, and I need something to wear to an award’s ceremony.” And, then I stopped, and tears came to my eyes. It amazed me at how nonchalantly and hurriedly I spoke such impactful words. I stood for a second and was ashamed of myself for being so ungrateful and uncaring about such an honor. I quickly told her that I’d just wear a necklace he’d given me, and I thanked her for her time.
I stood in line fighting back tears of shame, and I just wanted to purchase my dress and shoes and leave. When I made my way to the front, that beautiful soul was waiting on me. With a gift box in her hand. She proceeded to purchase the necklace herself, and all I could manage to mutter was “thank you and how undeserving I was.” I’ve never lost control of my emotions in a store before, but there was no holding in my feelings at this point.
I couldn’t help but to feel unworthy of such kindness and pure generosity. Here I was an ungrateful and negative person, who had just spent her entire morning begrudging taking care of financial situations which secure the future for C and I, financial situations, mind you that we are BEYOND blessed to have, and this beautiful lady is buying ME a string of fake pearls. She hugged me, and I muttered thank you again, and I managed to make it to my car.
There I sat for no less than 20 minutes just bawling and thanking God for finding the best in me, even when I can’t seem to muster one positive thought. Somehow, in the depths of all of my dark thoughts, and in my grand pity party parade, He found the good.
So often I feel that I constantly have to honor J and his sacrifice, and I have to play whatever role is expected of me at the time, that I brush aside the overwhelming feelings that constantly seem to nip at my heels. And then, on days like today, the rush over me, possess my thoughts, and block out the constant view of the good God is trying to show me. They become my blinders, and I set off on my daily course. And, then, in moments like today, a string of fake pearls, rip off my blinders, and flood me with His light.
Thankfully, few of you have to experience the death of your husband, and all of the “duties” that become assigned to you afterwards. However, each of us has “daily duties.” Washing, cleaning, cooking, working, coaching, feeding the dog, doctor’s visits etc. It becomes so easy to allow the mundane and seemingly unimportant tasks to drag us down. To pull us into a hole and continually pile dirt and mud on top of our thoughts. We become robots, and generally negative. While, I’m in no way saying every task needs to be completed with an “I’m blessed to be getting to wash these dishes” attitude, it is important at times to stop and remember just how blessed God ALLOWS us to be.
So, while I’m CERTAIN, I’ll find myself in the middle of another self-inflicted pity party soon, until then, I’m going to wear my fake pearls proudly, focus on spending more time in prayer, and keep reciting one of my favorite lines from an old hymn:
“Every blessing You pour down, I’ll turn back to praise…”
Even if what I’m experiencing at the moment doesn’t feel like a blessing….
*I share with you my faults as a learning tool for us all.*