What I want today . . .
Last year for my dad’s birthday, we bought tickets to a baseball game for the local boys of summer, Pensacola’s very own – Blue Wahoos. After a much enjoyed Whataburger and sweet tea (of course) lunch, we headed on down to the stadium – sunscreen in hand. It was my first Wahoos game at a stadium right on Pensacola Bay. As we were approaching our section, we noticed two ladies hop up from some seats and two gentlemen in what appeared to be our seats. After a recheck with the ushers, the ladies that had left and the gentlemen now seated were, in fact, in our seats. They apologized and moved one section over. All was great until the ladies (and at this point, I use that term loosely) came back. One of them announced (well, more like hollered), “You are in OUR seats.” I politely answered that in fact these were our seats. I tried to further explain, but was cut off by a woman with her face in mine yelling that she had paid good money for these seats. I stood up and showed her my tickets as the usher stepped in stopping my mother from bopping her in the head. The usher showed the two where their husbands were sitting and that they had sat in the wrong section in the first place. Strangely, no apologies were uttered.
Sadly, I get her frustration. She wanted to watch a baseball game on Sunday afternoon, and she was proud of her seats. I get it. Did I like being yelled at? Nope. But in the end, we all got what we came for that day.
Right now, I am feeling a giant passel of wants. Today, my son, my beloved red-headed boy, should be graduating from high school. But that isn’t going to happen, because he and three sweet other babes were killed when someone made a choice five years ago. I knew this day would come, and I am trying to hold it together with the best grace that I can muster.
Here is a current list of my wants –
- I want to tell everyone that my son is attending Yale. (The university he vowed in 6th grade he would attend.)
- I want to be going crazy, cleaning and shopping and preparing, for a graduation party.
- I want my eyes to stop hurting from the tears I have cried this week.
- I want the pounding in my chest to stop hurting.
- I want my thoughts to be clear, not insulating me from the pain that is going to come.
- I want to remind a certain few that I am not apologizing for my emotions. There is and forever will be only one momma to Reed.
- I want to hug my son today – not just see a gown on a chair where he should be.
- Lastly and more importantly, I want to tell him just one more time how proud I am of him.
But just like those seats at the stadium, what we want and what we get are often two very different things. So in the last couple weeks, I have clung – tightly- to the One who has collected each tear of mine in His bottle. I asked Him to show me where He was in the midst of all of this. It seems every salinated drop has provided spiritual vision that has opened the eyes to my soul. In all honesty, my provisions have been great and had I blinked I might have missed:
- The well wishing to another mom who is doing the crazy planning before I had a chance to feel sorry for myself.
- The hugs from fellow moms of graduates who have sought me out when I needed them the most.
- A mailbox flooded with invitations from Reed’s friends for their parties because those tender hearts want us to know we are loved.
- The mom who held me when I sobbed on the front steps of the church on Sunday.
- The friend almost a thousand miles away who has texted or called every day – just make sure that I am doing okay.
- The friends who upon hearing my joke about taking up excessive drinking offered to do so with me – just so they could hear me laugh.
- A midnight ice cream run with a friend because that can solve most of life’s problems.
- The mom who gave me a pep talk in the Wal-mart parking lot telling me that each of the graduates who knew Reed well was going to change the world because his presence changed the world.
- The friends that offered to sit with me at graduation to just to hold my hand and pass me Kleenex.
- The church that called and asked for me to come and speak this weekend, numbing the empty void of no celebration, but more importantly, reminding me of what He has planned for my life and Reed’s story
- An e-mail extraordinaire that gave me the strength to get out of bed today.
- Continuing on in traditions – oh yeah – McDonald’s for breakfast on the last day of school. We have to go on – even when it hurts.
- A cell phone battery almost dead before 8:00 am filled with texts of love.
Even though the items on my first list hurt with an ache that I didn’t know was humanly possible, I look at that second list and I can feel God’s touch. I hear His whisper of love and mercy. I know that He will be there with His bottle collecting my tears, wiping away each one. So that one day when I am reunited with Reed and I meet God in person, we are going to walk hand-in-hand to empty that bottle right on into the ocean.
Then I will stand before my Father with hands raised high – praising him for each and every sweet provision, including the chance to be Reed’s momma. After that, I am going to hug the mess out of my boy!
This song says it all . . .