Friday, April 21, 2017

The Pane (pain?)

For those who follow this blog, There may be some delays or even a long pause between post. My wife was diagnosed with lymphoma this week and everything has turned sideways in our lives. I wrote what happen today, it seems to say a lot. 

The Pane

Smiles were everywhere, laughter filled the grounds. The sun peaked in and out of wispy clouds. All the traditional picnic foods filled peoples’ plates and set on tables waiting to be served for those who wanted more. Everyone is having a good time. I thought “everyone but me.”

A smile was plastered on my face, but I couldn’t help but remember the function I just left. The church was asked to be there but no one else showed up. I left as things were winding down, knowing that it would be proper to help clean up. I had justified my leaving and not cleaning up on the fact my people weren’t there and that I didn’t feel like it. I showed up and that was going to have to be good enough.

As I turned my head to look around at all of my friends. I saw the storm cloud roll in. How can someone look so self-righteous dressed like that,” I asked myself as I saw Brother Smith?

My heart started pounding as he I saw his face. The corners of his mouth were down turned and his nose and eyes seemed drawn inward. His hands were clasped across his chest. He's the perfect image of a dower nun preparing to lecture a naughty student. A moment before he stood in front of me, the corners of his mouth turned up into a very small smile, though he managed to keep the rest of his face untouched by this small bit of warmth.  

There is no good answer I can give him, I thought to myself but I keep a smile and said, “Brother Smith, can I help you?” 

I began to put my hand out for him to shake but quickly pulled them back as I saw he wasn’t moving his hands.

“Brother, I am so disappointed in you.” The small upturn in his mouth turned down as he paused.

My smile vanished and a small determined puff of wind passed from my lips. I lost sight of everyone around me as my eyes narrowed. My hands closed.
Brother Smith turned his head, one eye looking down the side of his nose and said slowly as if I were a small child. "It is customary to have your church help clean up, you know.”     

I just looked back but said nothing. My vision opened up enough to see my wife coming in from the side with a concerned look on her face.

 “If you could have just gone around and made sure the light bulbs were screwed in.” Brother Smith mimed screwing in a light bulb.

My mouth dropped opened for a moment and then it shut. You idiot, I thought but I may have said it. My heart beat like a Thoroughbred in a race and I spun way from him sending a table of food soaring. A chair sitting in my path went also. I made straight for the door of the house. I was a tornado anything in my path flew out from the center.

You’re not angry with him, I told myself. There seemed to be two of me. The tornado heading toward the house and my rational mind detecting and analyzing. Well, yes you are, but that isn’t the whole reason and you know that. I told myself as I watched ketchup and hotdogs fly. The eyes of my congregation were wide and mouths were open as they watched me even as children stopped playing so they could see what was happening.

“I’m not angry with him” I yelled back, “Explain it to him, dear.”

That’s mature. I told myself. She is the one who got the cancer diagnosis and you’re leaving the explaining to her.

I don’t care, I argued silently with myself.

You’re angry at God. The analytical side thought.

Of course, I am. I thought as I slammed the porch door. A moment later I slammed open the door to the house. The top of the door had three vertical panes of glass and all three broke loose from the frame. I leaned against the door and slide to the ground. One of the panes followed me and broke into four unequal pieces. I stared at the jagged shards as the tears began to flow. It’s not fair, and don’t tell me life isn’t fair, I already know that. I, I…

You’re hurting and this is normal.

I know, but this hurts. I paused, I love God but this isn’t right.

 The analytical side became quite as I heard someone entering the porch. The light changed and I assumed it was the shadow of my wife.

I looked at the glass laying in front of me and said, “Be careful, it’s dangerous here.”

(then everything changed, as I opened my eyes and discovered I had been sleeping)

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