Trying not to cry

Last week taught me that I am going to have to start carrying tissues everywhere I go. The emotion associated with our imminent move tends to leap out unexpectedly and it is distressing to be streaming and sniffing in odd places without appropriate Kleenex support. The tears are not selective - they come when I am driving, watching the kids, talking to a teacher at the school, chatting with someone in the church nursery - and it's proving to be quite the handicap. I tend to steel myself and operate in tight, shallow shuffles to avoid prodding the grief avalanche and the people I bump into round our small community must struggle to know what to make of me. I purse my lips and gaze into the middle distance when they begin their inevitable barrage of reasonable questions about when we leave etc. and breathe slowly through the rumble I can feel building in my heart until it dissipates and I am able to communicate without mascara patterns on my cheeks.

Today a song by Mercy Me caught me as I was driving along.

And I know that I can find You here
Cause You promised me You'll always be there
Times like these, it's hard to see
But somehow I have a peace,
You're near
And I pray that You will use my life
In whatever way Your name is glorified
Even if surrendering
Means leaving everything behind
My life has never been this clear
Now I know the reason why I'm here
You never know why you're alive
Until you know what you would die for

I try to analyse where I am at with the leaving process. I have busied myself with getting an art commission completed and before that our homeschooling exemption application took up all my brain space, so I have successfully avoiding having to face any of the realities of going. Maddy's birthday is on Thursday and that will gobble up my time this week but every day I try to knock one more thing off the to-do list, which feels like a never-ending ribbon of tasks. Some big things have been achieved in that we have found tenants for our home, or rather, they found us. And we have an apartment to rent for a few weeks while we house hunt up in Auckland that does not consist of ladders, stairs and balconies like the first one booked for us. But each and every square inch of our home has to be sifted through and prepared for packing (one pile for 6 weeks of storage, the other to come with us when we leave). It is dizzying. And so hard to grasp firmly because my emotions keep doing a big grief jig right when I need to be Martha Stewart and organise my socks off.

We had a restful two week school holiday (apart from a week of everyone being sick) and the kids have gone back to school today for their last 2 and a half weeks. Having them around all the time was great and tough at the same time. It made me wonder how to manage my sanity when we are homeschooling but reassured me at the same time, that if the changes I observed at the end of two weeks were anything to go by, that over time, we would all catch hold of the new rhythm and it will all go fine.

Making flower soup in the garden with our best friends

Thanks to my lovely blog friends who commented on my previous and frantic post - I felt reassured and optimistic after I had read their words, and am understanding increasingly that God uses our children to shape our hearts toward His own, tears notwithstanding. Very waterproof mascara would probably be a wise investment right about now.

Erin  – (October 17, 2008 at 2:14 AM)  

What a handle you have on what's going on with your heart.
"Gazing into the middle distance" is a perfect way to describe what I have done in similar painful circumstances. I just wasn't self-aware enough to come up with a name for it. Survival ruled me, in those moments.

Disengaging is an interesting coping mechanism to ponder. I've spent some time disengaged from certain people and pains in the last 2 years, but also had occasion to safely and completely engage in the grief process in other areas.

When my father-in-law passed away very suddenly last year, it was an opportunity to grieve unabashedly. The entire world understands and accepts when we mourn loved ones. I knew it at the time and I see it quite clearly even now- I was not only mourning my dad-in-law, I was "sneaking" some grief time in for the other pains I'd been shallowly shuffling through.

I would send you Kleenex and waterproof mascara if I could. And homeschool mom mettle too.

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