I'm in Waco. I know that I should be enjoying my new house in Austin, but via the doctor's request, I'm taking some time off and am officially on vacation for two days.
Not where most people would choose to go, but this is the closest I can get to family in Texas, so I'm in Waco with the Eades.
Dinner with Julie tonight at Buzzard Billy's.
Conversation with Wes who stayed up way past his bedtime.
And church tomorrow...
Well, the suggestion was 3-4 days of vacation and one of those needs to be a Sunday. But I guess if I'm not the one working...
"Will you be coming to UBC?" Jeremy asked.
"I hadn't actually thought about that," I replied after telling him I have his Christmas present in my car if he wants it. And I hadn't thought about it. I'd thought, "Dayspring with the Eades: good preaching, no pressure, close friends and family." Or I'd been thinking, "No church, sleep in, read."
I hadn't honestly thought UBC until the words came out of his mouth.
UBC means remembering Kyle. It probably means tears and trauma. The UBC community gets to mourn and grow and move on every week a little bit more (at least that's how they describe it). For those of us who live far away, we don't have that luxery. So we put our friend's death in the back of our minds and try to move on. Do they call that denial? Downplaying? Helpful? But there's others things about UBC too. It means reliving what once was, and nevermore will be, and pretending that feels okay. It means old friends and explainations and fatigue and probaby more tears. "I wish you'd preach here again!" Me too. "It's so good to see you!" You too. "We should keep in better touch!" We won't.
At Dayspring I can sit quietly in the back and just observe. I can say hi to fewer friends who I do love (but also don't keep in good contact with), and who know me well enough to know that right now I'm on vacation and I need renewal. I can think and cry and love and not be noticed. I probably wouldn't be much noticed at UBC anymore either but at least I'd cry less at Dayspring.
I have so much to be thankful for, but driving into Waco brought back such a rush of emotion as well.
I wish this post was more positive. Grandma will probably say I should count my blessings, and I do! I really love my life right now, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard to process at times too.
I saw a grown man cry tonight over his teenager daughter. He's just two years older than the last man I went out on a date with, who I never saw cry but I did see mourn. And on the drive up, I thought of another man, much younger than myself who mourns for his children in Uganda who will be displaced orphans again when he returns to America. Over dinner, I was confronted by a friend who wonders about my need to be heard and whether that stems from my upbringing. And I took the back roads when driving into town tonight to avoid seeing the church that another friend and influence in my life was killed in.
So that's what I've got on the brain and that's what I'm blogging about.
Tomorrow, when it's Sunday and beautiful and not 1:28am, I will blog again about my cute new house and the artsy doormats I bought for my side and back door. And I will tell you about installing the mailbox that is a tasteful cedar and black metal, crookedly poking out over my curb. I will tell you about the $130 I spent having the last of my theatre posters framed to hang on my walls in the living room that has no chairs or couches but by god, houses beautiful art.
Finally. I always thought I needed a man and a marriage to get me a house to hang my posters in. I was wrong. I just needed a job.
But I'll write about all those exciting things tomorrow.
Tonight, I mourn quietly in a 9 year old's bed, and I praise God for being alive and for feeling and for caring so much about people and life and beauty and evil that it hurts deep, deep down inside.
And I'll say a prayer for Kyle and Paul and Radley and Lily and remind them to laugh and dance and snuggle and run and to wait for me until I see them again...