As with most times here at my place, I find myself often times bearing my soul. I rarely hold back how I am really feeling. With that said the truth is that I have found myself feeling quite down all week.
I don't like to use the word depressed. I consider myself to be a generally happy person even when the walls are falling down around me. Optimistic is the word most use. But that is not how I've been feeling at all.
My poor husband seems so confused when I don't feel like talking. This week I just haven't felt like talking. To anyone.
I have found myself in a state of quite loneliness. A state of exhaustion. A state of unknown and confusing sadness. Often wondering if there is anything that I can feel excited about anymore.
I don't know what to blame it on. My first thought was age. You know, you've done so many things in life. Is there any excitement left anywhere, anymore?
I've worked very hard this week on my decorating project and while it's almost complete and I am very pleased with the results I somehow thought that I would be a bit more excited about it. Wrong.
Now I will tell you that I already know the answer to my problem. Against my own knowledge and instincts, I have in truth not given my worry to God. While I do realize that I am far from a highly educated and intelligent woman, I do know that I need to hand my feelings over to our Lord.
Last night my granddaughter Sarah spent the night with me. It was just us "Gals". Just like it was with my own grandmother years ago. I always try to make these "Overnights" as special as my grandmother made them for me.
This was good medicine for me as I know that I have been spending far too much time alone lately without any desire to be around people. I've been told that this is grief. I suppose it can be or it is. All I know is that I've been feeling painfully alone since my mother passed away. Truthfully the only time I haven't felt like this is when my husband is home. And that, if I'm lucky, is five days a month.
My fifteen year old daughter Kate doesn't seem to care and I certainly understand why. She's fifteen, enough said! I am certain that she notices my sadness but I am sure that it confuses her to the point that she ignores it for lack of knowing what else to do.
I don't care to burden my family as I don't believe there is anymore that they can do.
Having Sarah over last night snapped me out of this feeling a bit. I was bound and determined to live up to my own grandmothers standards. So after having an afternoon snack of unhealthy pizza rolls, off we went to town.
I realized that I don't even leave the house anymore unless I absolutely have to. I know this isn't good.
Our first stop was the ATM to get some cash to spend. And spend we did. We stopped at Walgreens to buy candy. Are you keeping track of the food? You should. Three large boxes of "Dots", "Snowcaps" and "Nerds".
Next stop, Burger King. I told my eight year old granddaughter that we could eat anywhere. I was sort of thinking Applebee's or Chili's. Too bad for me, as Junie B. Jones would say. Burger King it was.
We went to the Burger King that has a play area and ordered our semi warm dinner of cheeseburgers and fries. Should I have complained? Your darned right I should have but for some reason, my brain didn't let me know this.
It all worked out though as when we entered the filthy and extremely hot play area, the only other person there was Amanda and her two young children. Both close to Sarahs age.
Amanda went to school and was friends with my now nearly twenty-nine year old daughter Ginny. She, her husband and children are now members of my church.
This was great for Sarah. She had someone to play with and the three of them got alone well. This gave Amanda and I time to talk. She is a very sweet woman and since I haven't seen her but a few times since she was in grade school, it was fun catching up with her life and family.
We talked about the time that she and her husband had to live with her parents for a short while as there house was being built with their two young children. The conversation revolved around the old saying "You can never go home again".
The conversation led , somehow , to one day shortly after my oldest daughter received her masters degree. It would be the last day that I would see her in our home state as she was headed for the Carolina's for her first "real" job. She started in South Carolina and ended up, for now, settling in North Carolina.
As I explained our goodbye that day to Amanda, I felt the tears welling up in my eyes at the thought of that hug and all of the sobs Ginny and I had for each other.
That was it. She was her own woman and it went by in the blink of an eye.
I suppose for a moment I felt a bit embarrassed that I was starting to cry. But then I remembered the type of person that Ginny's friend was. I just wiped away the tears and we continued to have a very nice conversation.
About an hour went by and I knew it was time for Sarah and I to leave. We were now headed for the theater to see " Furry Revenge ".
Sarah and I have wonderful conversations. She is an excellent talker! I was instructed to ask her questions about school on the drive to the theater. She also has an excellent memory as I do believe she has nearly every child in her classes birthdays memorized. In the order of there births?!
We arrived at the theater in plenty of time to order our popcorn and sodas, and to also watch the previews. Previews are important so that we can plan the next movie that we will go see together.
She was not happy. The next one that she wanted to see doesn't come out until next summer. She was not happy. But I'm sure that we will figure something else out.
The movie wasn't quite as funny as I thought it would be but Sarah loved it and the candy and the popcorn and the soda. And so did I.
Storms were headed our way. Thankfully they held off. We were on our way home. On the way to the theater we noticed a carnival in town. A large Ferris Wheel was spotted. Sarah mentioned to me that she had never been on a Ferris wheel that big.
My wheels started spinning which was a bit of a surprise considering the way that I have been feeling as of late. So on the way home from the theater, grandma whipped her car into the parking lot of the carnival. Sarah said "What?".
I asked her if she would like to ride the giant Ferris Wheel with the understanding that grandma couldn't afford more than that ride. She is such a smart and sweet girl. She agreed.
It cost $8.00 for her and I to go on one ride. It's no wonder there weren't many people there. It may not seem like a lot to some but after dinner and the theater well, it was a lot for me.
Sarah was very willing as she tightly held my hand. Although I did sense a bit of nervousness. We had to walk a long way to get there which wasn't easy for me but I didn't care. I wanted to experience a first with her.
The weather was warm, humid and windy as we approached the Ferris Wheel. When it was time for us to board she was a trooper, while tightly clutching my hand. We sat down and were strapped in.
This brought back a scary yet fond memory for me. When I was about five years old, my mother took me on a Ferris Wheel ride and it broke down while we were on the very top. All I remember was that it took a long time for the fire department to show up and fix whatever the problem was. I have no idea. It was in the sixties and I was very young. I only remember Mom comforting me all the while. Today I have no fear of heights so I guess she did a good job.
Sarah was still a bit nervous as we took off into the sky. I, like my mother pointed out all of the places that you can see from way up high in the sky. Her grip did relax during our five minute ride. There was a smile on her face and I do believe that I was able to get her to enjoy the wind and the lights and the tiny cars.
Grandma did good. Leaving the ride she was smiling when I noticed a fishing game. Before she could ask I knew that I would offer for her to play.
Her Daddy, my son, has taught her how to fish. She's good at it. This is where I start to think about my waning faith as of late.
I had to let her fish. Money be damned.
She caught two fish and won a giant green monkey that she decided to name "Mrs. Green".
We were good now. She was happy. I couldn't help but wonder if I was happy. I was happy that she was happy.
So in this confusing state we drove home. After walking the dogs and changing into our p.j.'s we went upstairs to my apartment. The whole upstairs is my apartment. We sat in the living room for a long time while watching the Disney channel.
Soon the storm warnings started. Tornado warnings. Great. We were talking about school when I suggested that we go to bed and watch t.v. there. Oh I forgot. We had more pizza rolls too.
It was around midnight when the sirens started to blare. O.K. you have to know two important things.
#1 whomever is in charge of the sirens in our town is so extreme that no one pays attention to them any more. This is not a good thing. They set them off at a drop of the hat at they go on and on.
#2 I am not afraid of storms at all. This is not good. My older daughter Ginny, called my younger daughter Kate, at her friends house to tell her to call me and warn me that we may be in a tornado zone.
The reason for the call is a funny story that I will elaborate on at another time.
It's going on midnight now and as I looked out of my bedroom window, I thought it wise that we move downstairs while my granddaughter was clutching her body to mine!
We have a basement to which I assured Sarah we had a safe place to go in case of an emergency. I turned the weather channel on, watched the pouring rain and river run down our street as Sarah wrapped herself in a blanket on the sofa.
Ten minutes and the storm was over. We headed back up to bed where she read a Junie B. Jones book to me. I think we fell asleep around 1:00a.m.
This morning my state of mind has improved. We had breakfast, read some more and then I had to take my sweet granddaughter home as she was to have an overnight guest.
On my way home I realized that I have been shutting myself away from people, life and activities that involve others. While I am still capable of making others happy, I have been ignoring myself.
This is easy to do. We all do it.
The following is Martin Luther's take on Ecclesiastes, which struck a chord in me.
But faith teaches him that God has ordered all things according to his own purposes (3:1-15;5:19;6:1-2;9:1) and that man's role is to accept these, including his own limitations, as Gods appointments. Man, therefore,should be patient and enjoy life as God gives it. He should know his own limitations and not vex himself with unrealistic expectations. He should be prudent in everything, living carefully before God and the King and, above all, fearing God and keeping his commandments (12:13).
I think that I put too much pressure on myself to be all and do all for all. I know that I am not the only woman, wife and mother to feel this.
So I am going to try, just for tonight to follow Luther's advice.
This is not easy for me as of late. I have been in a state. A state of sadness, insecurity, pain, sadness, loneliness, and fear.
Isn't this what we all feel? Surely I am not alone. This much I know.
Yet I realize that I am truly an amazing person. At least that's what God thinks.
I am so different from you and my individuality makes me amazing. Just as yours does you.
So you see, I can't be down for long. I will rise above this awful feeling. And if I don't , well , at the very least I was able to experience " The Big Ferris Wheel " with my beautiful granddaughter for her very first time.