Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good, odd and interconnected

I think I just might like this new job. The people are nice, and though I've got all the procedural and product knowledge details to learn, I've got a good comfort level for the first day. I'm working in a bridal boutique, and I got to hear stories about today about how young couples came together. That was sweet. I know I'll have to deal eventually with Bridezillas and Momzillas, but dealing with stressed out people is old news for me. It's also nice to work in an environment where graciousness and the knowledge and application of good manners are seen as the skill that they are, rather than as an invitation to being treated like a doormat.

I enjoy having a little commute to work, and it takes me about 30 minutes of highway driving to get there. I was channel surfing the radio on my way down and picking up on a lot of small town radio stations that I wasn't able to get in my last car. I was almost surprised at how many radio preachers I heard, and then I remembered, "Oh, I live in the Bible Belt. Doh." One of them got my attention with a snippet on gratitude before the speaker's accent grated too much on my nerves, and I had to change the channel.

The basic message was to be grateful to God in all things, whatever life has brought you. My first response was that there is no way I will ever be grateful that my husband died when he was only 48, when our child was still a teenager, when we still had so many things up in the air. I cannot be grateful for that. No loving God would expect me to be grateful for that, and I do believe that God is loving -- in incredibly incomprehensible ways, but still loving. That thought took me back to Gannet Girl's entry from yesterday where she quoted Ignatius.

"In time of desolation we should never make any change but remain firm and constant in the resolution and decision that guided us the day before the desolation..."

OK, the day before the desolation was the day before my husband died. My resolution then was that God is good and deserves my love, my worship, my obedience and my gratitude. That is still resolved, and I still cannot be grateful that R. is dead. I can however be grateful that I got to spend 27 years of my life with an exceptional man who loved me and whom I loved. That thought helped me set aside any thoughts of the difficulties we faced and softened the irony of being a relatively recent widow beginning a job surrounded by brides-to-be.

I had an odd moment when I couldn't help noticing all the bright, shiny, new engagement rings our brides were wearing. With my weight loss, my wedding and engagement rings literally fell off my finger one day when R. and I were still separated. I never had them re-sized, and our rings are in their own little box on my dresser now. My engagement ring was just a simple round solitaire diamond and our wedding rings were just plain and simple gold bands, but I've always loved them. My ring finger still bears the imprint of wearing them for over two decades. Not too long ago, that thought would have hurt so much it caused physical pain. Today, seven months to the day since R. died, it brings only a deep wistfulness, a moistness in my eyes but not real tears, and a sad but sweet smile. That's something else to be grateful for.

new job, grief, gratitude


Blogger Songbird said...

Glad for you, Cynthia.

November 26, 2008 8:55 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Wow! What an ironic job for you! But I think it will be one of those times of greater progress out of the pit of grief. As in, sometimes you stay in one place, sometimes you move forward slowly, and sometimes you make a larger jump ahead. I am proud of you for the distance you've travelled in just the past few months, and I know you are feeling more whole than you were just a short while ago.

Grief always shatters us into tiny pieces, and when we ultimately put the pieces back together they aren't always the same as they were. But we find that the new person we are can and must go on to new challenges, new Nobody, certainly not the Creator, expects you to be grateful for the fact of your husband's death at so young an age,. But you can, perthaps, someday be grateful for the life you still have and will have, going forward. You're getting there, my friend.

November 26, 2008 10:14 AM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

A bridal shop for you, seminary for me...

Either we are both totally crazy or both totally graced.

Or, I suppose, both at once.

May your Thanksgiving have some piece in it, Cyn.

November 26, 2008 12:56 PM  
Blogger IndigoSunMoon said...

I know its hard to find happiness after such a loss, but know that you are loved by so many, and that you are going to make it through this, and the pain (even though it may not seem like it) will slowly go away. My Daddy died when I was just 13, and it took me forever to get over it the best way I could. I hope today, Thanksgiving Day brings you lots of smiles dear friend. You certainly deserve them.
Love you!

November 27, 2008 11:11 AM  

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