a day that will live in infamy
At this sun-deprived point in the year, I wake up pretty much every morning in a big pile of animals. You see as the weather gets cooler, Lucy moves from next to my feet to on my legs to on my stomach to basically on my face. Kathy moves from plastered against the wall opposite me to directly in the other spot in my double bed to smushed up next to me with her head on my pillow. So my waking up is usually a pretty joyous event.
This morning, after enjoying a snuggle with my girls, a big stretch, an inhale of the smell of all that life and all that sleepiness, I said aloud, “Well, this is the day.”
A year ago today my husband left me. Completely out of the blue it seemed at the time, an unbelievable shock, but really it was only the first of many shocks and reckonings to come over the next year as I navigated a world entirely other than my expectations had been, deprived of my former narrative and character and therefore forced to improvise.
Luckily, years of summer camp, Sunday school, VBS, and Methodist retreats have hard-wired certain neural pathways between my brain and body, so that immediately upon saying, “This is the day…” I began to sing aloud:
This is the day, this is the day, this is the day that the Lord hath made (that the Lord hath made)
We will rejoice, we will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it (and be glad in it)!
With subsequent verses celebrating,
This is the cat, this is the cat, this is the cat that the Lord hath made (that the Lord hath made)…
and of course
This is the dog, this is the dog, this is the dog that the Lord hath made (that the Lord hath made)…
And it has in fact been a pretty good day. I worked on a craft project: designing, tracing, cutting, pasting, glittering. The K-dog and I went for a walk. I had a great workout. I made myself a bowl of ground turkey, taco seasonings, spinach, black beans, and low-fat cheese. A package arrived: my costume and some decorations for my upcoming Christmas Birthday Burlesque.
This day last year wasn’t Pearl Harbor, just my own personal unexpected disaster. It happened, a year ago today, and it’s still true that I will never be the same. Yet in some of the most profound ways, I am figuring out how to be who I am and always have been despite the ongoing de- and re-construction of my life. I love my animals. I love crafts. I love that the holidays are now, as a grownup, just as magical as they were for me as a child, only now it’s because of the giving instead of the receiving. I love that I’m having a party next week.
I suppose if God found us mysterious enough that “He” had to be born and live as one of us for 33 years in order to understand us, it’s no surprise that I’m still as baffled about the meaning of life as I was 365 days ago. I mean I’m not even omniscient.
Whatever, whyever we are, I’m very grateful to be spending this seasonal celebration of God-attempting-to-understand-man-by-being-born-as-one-of-us with the friends and family that have been invaluable to me in understanding my own cataclysm his past year.
Also. Crafts. I will rejoice and be glad in them.