For as long as I can remember, I operate near the fringe of keeping it all together. Testing my limits to see how much I can handle. I do it to myself. I like it (most of the time). I thrive on it (in some twisted way).
As this summer came to a close, I inadvertently tested myself again. Work travel, personal travel, family in town, etc. I clawed through August into early September.
Late summer won. I emerged with pneumonia and several empty bottles of red wine. And cavities, something like 6 cavities. (Still not sure how someone who brushes twice a day and flosses daily gets that many cavities, but I do.)
Towards the end of August, I realized how close to my fringe I was. At 8:15 on a Sunday morning, I was leaving Target. In less than 3 hours all three of my boys were to be baptized (and a party to follow at our house). I turned my car on. I put it in drive and pressed my foot on the accelerator. My car barely moved forward. It emitted a loud grinding sound. Warning lights flashed furiously – silently screaming at me.
As my car refused to budge, I started making calls for someone to come pick me up. First to my husband, he didn’t answer his phone. Next to my mother-in-law (who was staying at our house), she didn’t answer. Finally, my brother (who was in town for the baptisms), who didn’t answer either.
Stranded in Target’s parking lot two hours before we had to be at the church, it felt like too much. I could no longer hold back the tears.
Here I should disclose that I am a car crier. I manage to keep it together most of the time. But in my car, I have no self-control. No one is looking. No one has to suffer through my pity party. Just myself, whatever depressing song is playing and my tears. In my car, I indulge in my tears like a girl in a bad music video.
When I started this blog, I pledged to myself to share low moments too. I haven’t done that very often. It’s not because there are not low moments. There are many many low moments. It’s because it’s hard to write about low moments.
Because they are just that: low and vulnerable. I do not like to admit that I’m vulnerable. Nor do I like to admit that I can’t hold it all together all the time.
It’s also because by the time I am writing, I have processed it. I’ve gone for a run. I’ve talked to my husband or best friend. I’ve survived the low moment and made it to the other side.
That moment that had me crying like a fool in the Target parking lot on a beautiful Sunday morning, doesn’t seem so big anymore. In fact, it seems a little embarrassing that I was even crying about it.
Now we are through the end of September. The fall days are setting in. In this calmer month I get the chance to enjoy a lighter load. Today would have been my grandmother’s 93rd birthday. Her constant advice still rings true, this too shall pass.
In my grandmother’s memory, appreciating her unwavering faith despite the adversity she faced in her life, it felt appropriate to include baptism pictures.
Because I did stop crying in Target’s parking lot. Everyone was baptized. Though no one agreed to posing for a civilized family picture. Since I’d hit my crying quota, I laughed and rolled with the lack of cooperation.