Friday, September 19, 2014

Dear Matt

Dear Matt,
Today I got a Voter Registration Card in the mail. When I read the front of the card, my first thought was, "Why are they sending me this?" Then I turned the card over and saw your full name printed on it.

And my heart sank. My immediate next thought was how incredibly long it's been since I've seen your name printed, since you got mail. It set the ache in my heart to throbbing, as if someone came along and kicked me at the point of amputation.

You see, most days, I'm o.k. Most days, the ache is drowned out by the dailiness of life. It's always there, for sure. However, at this point, it's become second-nature. So much so that I've learned to live with it, always aware of it's presence, but having become so accustomed to it that it no longer incapacitates me. I've learned to swallow the bitterness, to choke it down when it comes unexpectedly like this. I've gotten good at redirecting and marching on. Not because it doesn't hurt, but because it's necessary.

It seems counter-intuitive, really, but it's the healthiest choice. Much like back pain, actually. The first response with back pain is to move less because of the pain, yet the best action is to move more. As my PT used to say, "Motion is lotion!"

Now, of course, at the time of initial injury one doesn't do that. One takes the time to recover, waiting a bit for the injury to settle down, to heal a bit before beginning the process of recovery. Then, slowly, little by little, as time goes by, as one is able, PT begins. Grief is a lot like that, too. In the beginning, one has to allow time for the grief to settle down, to just let the loss be loss. As time goes by, however, one can't stay immobile. It's not healthy, and healing will not happen if one doesn't take the necessary steps for recovery. 

Wednesday was PT. I put the Voter Registration Card on my desk, allowed myself to cry for a few minutes for what isn't and what will never be, then I took a deep breath and determined to do my exercises. Exercises which consist of speaking truth, of remembering that this world is not our home. Exercises in faith, hope, and trust in the Great Physician. The ache remains, my heart still throbs, and I still miss you more than words can say. But I'm doing what I need to do, son, because I know that if I endure, doing God's will, then I will receive what He has promised. (Heb.10:35-36)