Friday, October 3, 2008
Good Friends, Old Times, Releasing the Pain
There about one thousand different posts that I could have written about my day this past Wednesday. And finally, I decided to just tell it like it is! Wednesday afternoon, I somehow managed to condense every emotion that I have felt over the past year into a 90-minute time frame. 90 minutes of shear emotional upheaval. More than a catharsis. Raw emotion.
One of my tires blew out on a busy Dallas freeway at 1:30 p.m. I had been running errands and was on my way to pick Jada from kindergarten. Dismissal is at 2:00 p.m.
As I was driving, I started to smell something burning. Within seconds, the road tripping minivan was shaking, and before I knew it, I saw pieces of tire rubber roll into the next lane. Pieces of rubber from my tire.
I pulled over onto the shoulder and instantly began counting my blessings. No children were in the car with me. No accident ensued. I could make definite afterschool arrangements for Jada from my cell phone. CJ and Tyra both had afterschool activities that didn't end until 4:30 p.m.
I counted my blessings. It could have been so much worse. I called for roadside assistance. I then called Christie because someone needed to know where I was -- and then it happened. I broke down into tears. Not because of the tire, not even because of the "what if's" it had been worse. At that moment I felt that something was missing.
I missed the feeling of security that comes from knowing there was a man I could call in a situation like that who would have my back. I didn't have that. He was missing. It was at the moment that in the past year I realized I had shifted into overdrive to handle business and take care of the kids. I never once realized that I needed to take care of me...or more specifically, have the idea that someone else would take care of me. I missed having a should to cry on and a knight in shining armor to come and rescue me.
(Please keep in mind that more than likely, the ex-knight would NOT have been able to come assist me, but it was the theory of having someone that I was thinking of).
While I was waiting, 4 police cars whizzed past me on the freeway. Not one of them stopped. That made it worse. The fraternity of law enforcement officers that I used to proudly be a part of
had not time for me.
In the midst of my tears, I decided to listen to the radio. As I turned the volume up, I felt a numbing sensation in my right hand. The tingling traveled up my arm but then moved down the right side of my body.
Having had a friend who suffered a stroke 7 years ago at the age of 29, I became instantly concerned about my physical health. As my head began to hurt, the tears began to flow harder and all I could say was "Oh God! Please don't let me die today!Those children need me! Please not now, not now!" I then exclaimed, "Oh crap! I haven't finished the book yet! If I lose the ability to use my right hand, how will I finish the book?"
Yes. I can be full of drama. And actually, Tyra was at acting class when all of this was going on.
My emotional outburst lasted for the next 30 minutes. Kindergarten Jada would say I was making a pattern:
Cry, tingle, headache, pray. Cry, tingle, headache, pray. Cry, tingle, headache pray. Cry, tingle, headache, pray.
Soon after, the roadside assistance crew arrived, the tire was changed and I was in route once again to collect my children.
It was then that I realized that I did in fact have a knight in shining armor. It was okay that it was not him, because He was there. It was Him.
Something amazing happened later that evening. The kids and I met an old friend for dinner at Luby's. As we caught up on lives and our perspective on the woes of our country, the kids were entertained by a balloon artist. By the time we left the restaurant, each child had to "regular" helium balloon, and a "special" balloon shaped like some animal.
On the way home, I heard whispering in the back seat and one of the kids asked if we could stop at the park for a few minutes. As I prepared to launch into a huge "We have too much to do tonight" speech my son said, "I want to release my balloon to the world so I can get past your divorce."
In thinking of my own need to get past the divorce (as evident from the emotional incident of only a couple of hours before) I headed to the park.
Each child said a few words, I said a prayer, we thanked the Lord for each other and our friends and family. We verbalized good wishes for their father and his fiance (surely, the 4th marriage will be a charm!) and we let the balloons go.
It was a very touching moment for us. It was poignant and powerful and everything about the moment of release made it all worthwhile. All of it.