Good, hurting and "hurting good"

Brindy snores, asleep on her blanket behind our recliner. I sniffed her doggy scent while reclining and thinking about the uneven week behind me.

Tim worked nearly all weekend, on problems arising from an early daylight-savings switch at the TV station where he’s chief engineer. This followed late nights he spent dealing with the aftermath of a burglary at a mountaintop translator site. My husband has not been having a lovely time.

So, I asked, why’s the timing this way? Something good happens for me – an acceptance letter. But Tim can’t share my joy. In fact, yesterday he hurt my feelings by bringing up money – how I’m not making up our constant monthly budget shortfall.

I don’t blame Tim for his bleak outlook. I did get angry, though. Last night I expressed my feelings, late, when we were both tired and spent. It didn’t help. I got in bed with my journal, then, and wrote about circumstances I hate right now. I hate them, I wrote, but I love Tim. It helped. This morning we talked, somewhat like civilized beings, about reality’s hard edge.

Questions we can’t answer exist, I’m reminded. It’s one reason reality bites some days. Our lives’ chapters don’t get tied up with pink-ribbon endings. Often they leave us dangling, vulnerable, exposed.

Before church this morning I read the latest newspaper column by Dorcas Smucker, her monthly Letter from Harrisburg. For Dorcas, life as a Mennonite minister’s wife does not preclude facing rough-edged circumstances. Since one of her nephews took his life last summer, you might expect Dorcas to sweep her grief beneath some dogmatic carpet. She, however, does not try to hide. With her niece (the nephew’s older sister), she recently spent days processing, even questioning. As Dorcas says, “I longed to do the impossible and dispense answers that would make everything make sense.” She admits she did not have those answers.

Years ago I told myself I had all the answers, the day my youngest brother left his wife and announced he was gay. Through prayer, I thought, I would bring him back.

Yet I had to learn there was no “back” – he’d had homosexual feelings already for years but had kept them and his related actions secret.

I had a process to begin. Years of hurt and anger to experience. And over lots of time since then a picture of myself to see, loving my brother, forgiving him for withholding from our close relationship his boyhood pain. Like Dorcas I’ve recognized I cannot make everything make sense.

Now Tim’s come home and rested in the bedroom. His station is working, except for the closed captioning equipment. A new week awaits – good things and hurting will combine, no doubt. I’ll work to be genuine with my husband, and to let memories of joyful successes buoy me when reality bites.

It’s reality I long for, though, in all its colors. Somehow I’m made to go through it, eyes open, stretching and bleeding and aching, to see.


Cherie said…
I was hoping I'd get to talk with you today, but you were surrounded. I didn't know you were feeling so undone. I hope you found some encouragement from all the loving people you spoke with. Wasn't the message just terrific!! I hope things settle down for you and Tim, and that you get some of the more pleasant parts of reality this week, for a little rest.

Deanna said…
Thanks, Cherie. I meant to talk to you, yesterday, too. We will find our time when it meets us.

I wondered if I should post anything hinting at the negative here. I even almost balked at writing it in my journal! This says something, I think, about how I tend to shrink from the real at times.

Of course, I could just be an over-analyzing, hormonal grump!

And, yes, I felt hugged by the whole group yesterday. The passage Jack spoke on is one of my very favorites. :-)