I mention that today is a hard day to someone who knows my story and the words fall with a loud “thud!” between us.
I don’t know whether to pick them up or not and she isn’t having anything to do with them.
So I move on to another topic. Clearly this one isn’t going anywhere.
There are lots of ways to send messages of disapproval. You can “just say NO” like kids are told to do in anti-drug and anti-bullying campaigns. You can rant and rave and argue and rail against someone or something in person and on social media.
Or you can just ignore someone when they spill what matters to them like an offering on the ground at your feet.
The opposite of love is not hate.
The opposite of support is not opposition.
It’s looking the other way.
Strangers line streets to cheer marathoners on-offering cups of water and words of affirmation.
“You can do it!” “Keep going!” “You are more than half-way there!” “Don’t give up!”
And yet many of us are running the race of our lives without a cheering section.
I get it–you are so very tired of the fact that I am so very tired. I have worn out the welcome mat to the door of your heart. It DOES get old when I bring the same baggage with me each time we talk.
Trust me, I’m working hard at unpacking it. I’m doing all I can to lighten my load and what I ask you to help me carry.
But it is a slow, slow process.
And every time I need help or encouragement and don’t get it, another brick is added to the suitcase.
You might think you are helping me learn to ignore the pain by ignoring my mention of it but I don’t have that luxury.
It’s my heart wound, not yours.
It’s my child buried, my child not here, my child gone from sight-how exactly should I ignore that? Which of your children could you put away for a lifetime and forget was ever here?
If you want to help me lighten the load,
let me unpack my pain by telling my story.
If you want me to finish the race strong,
cheer me on.