I'm not a stranger to grief, or the unhappy surprises that life brings. But what I truly am struck by is the way that I approach it. Something happens, sickness, an accident, a death, a betrayal, and while I'm raw and torn apart on the inside, the rest of me keeps up with the motions of life. I don't run off crying or gasping for breath. Instead I find myself riding out the shock that swells up like waves and threatens to knock me off my feet. I keep going. The casual observer, aka anyone other than my mom, would think I was just fine and yet, no.
This Monday, my littlest girl was on her way to visit the Battleship North Carolina on a field trip with her class when the van she was traveling in hydroplaned and they ended up in a ditch. None of the children were hurt seriously, and they were calmed by kind people stopping and covering them with blankets and coats and umbrellas before being whisked off to the emergency room in a nearby hospital.
My baby was fine. A bump on the head and a sore back, that's all...
And when I got word of the accident, I didn't freak, I didn't scream or gasp or run to my car to rescue her. I absorbed. I went numb and my heart did somersaults and I pictured my sweet girl scared and yet miraculously unharmed. When I was finally able to make it to see her, the tears broke through and my relief poured out as I held my girl in my arms and saw her with my own eyes and heard her laugh full of childish joy. My mind struggles to not stray into thoughts of what could have happened and truly embrace the miracle that is right now.
So while I hate the way my "self" responds to these traumas and bumps on the road, I must acknowledge that there is a peace that passes all understanding that my spirit is tapping into. And at the same time respecting the fragility of the lives that meander past me all day. The monotony of everyday life that when threatened becomes so much sweeter.