I could qualify this week with at least a dozen cliches, but I shall not. It was heavy. Emotional. Stressful. Grief-filled. You get it.
I set this week aside to really dig into my parents' belongings, to pack, sort, prepare to sell, and decide what to keep. I knew this process would be painful, and I have been dreading it for the past three months. Oy. To the day. I didn't even realize it until I was typing that sentence. Three months since Daddy died.
I also knew this journey would be an adventure. Even the unique relationship between a parent and child does not allow for the child to know everything, and so I keep making pleasant discoveries, finding little treasures, laughing my way through piles of keepsakes mixed with old bills and letters and greeting cards. Dad clearly liked those cards that play music when opened. I believe I have found half a dozen or so that he gave to Mom.
I am not a wallow-er, but this grief journey has definitely had wallowing moments and unexpected emotional outbursts. Last week while shopping in K-Mart with my dear children, "Tears from Heaven" began to play. I went through a brief Eric Clapton stage in late high school-early college, so I began to lightly sing along as this is what I do. About 1/3 of the way through the song, I stopped in my tracks and realized what I was singing.
Mom's funeral song.
I decided that we should have chosen obscure music for Mom and Dad's funerals, and I texted my sister to tell her so. The Sunday prior to that shopping trip found me quietly crying in church as a flute duo played one of Dad's funeral songs, "You Raise Me Up." Oh how glad was I that they didn't ask me to play with them for that piece!
So, music...it's getting to me. No one who has been reading this blog for long is surprised by this, and absolutely no one who knows me is even giving it a second thought. This is how I tick.
As I was going through Mom and Dad's stacks and stacks of random bills, paperwork, recipes, photographs, etc, I listened to music. I found myself drawn to old CDs of mine. Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant...maybe it's because that is the sound track of my teen years, when last I lived with my folks. Maybe I'm over-analyzing a little, but the soundtrack of my week was very, very old-school.
In the midst of all this emotional hum-drum, we were observing Holy Week at our house and at church. I do not merely love this week; I absolutely look forward to it for 51 weeks (I am aware it is sometimes more or less) out of the year waiting for the opportunity to reflect anew on all that Jesus did for me. It is my favorite week of the year. I look forward to celebrating the resurrection with all that I am, and I did not find it necessary to search for eucharisteo, thanksgiving, as I went through this most holy season in preparation for this Sunday's celebration.
Life is hard. There is still thanksgiving. It is right there in front of you if you just take a moment to look.
396. German shepherds romping in snow covered field
404. This doesn't get easier each time I come, but it is such an incredible privilege
405. Oodles of eye glasses and sunglasses
407. Blistex. The scent of Mama's kisses
408. Daddy's aftershave
414. Moments of private worship
421. Hugs from Lukas out-of-the-blue
424. "I can see!"
430. The flicker of the candle