The boxes are stacking up in our garage. It started well. Boxes of books, cd’s I’m afraid to part with (hey, vinyl came back), extra linens. We packed like items together and marked clearly on the box.
Then we had a box with a little space at the top to fill and contents are now marked “MISC”. Basically, a little of this and little more of that.
More than one box is marked FRAGILE. Pottery and glasses have been wrapped with bubble wrap. A favorite cookie jar and old mason jars are packed carefully.
One of the boxes marked fragile will have a carefully wrapped tiny ceramic cow. My husband has glued its tail and one leg back on. It still doesn’t stand without leaning it against something. My son paid a quarter for it at a rummage sale when he was in middle school. His small act will forever be precious to me.
As we continue to sort through photos, papers, and trinkets I’m reminded at how fragile I’ve felt during this period.
For every note, recognition and photograph we’ve packed we’ve found joy and sadness in both. Happy memories of the celebrations and sadness of the years passed.
One day I’m energy-filled to get this room packed up and cleaned out and the next day I’m mourning. It’s enough to have me going down the bi-polar check off list in my head.
This is life: a mixture of strength and fragility.
This is a life well lived and well loved.
In the poetic words of Bono, “A heart that’s broken is a heart that’s open”. (Cedarwood, 2014)
When my heart feels fragile I remind myself it’s because it’s open to love and joy. Just as you can’t numb the bad without numbing the good an open heart is often a broken heart. It feels the lows as deeply as it feels the highs.
Have you read the Psalms? Read the ones attributed to King David and you will find joy and anger mingled together.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. and my place of safety 3 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. Psalm 18:2-3P
In Psalm 22 David starts with these words:
“My God, my God, why have you rejected me?”
This is life. One day we are praising and moments later questioning.
Some days I’ve felt like that tiny ceramic cow that can’t stand without leaning on something. Parts of me are broken and need mending.
Not every period in life has felt this fragile. For now, I’m trying to wrap the tender places with grace. I’m walking in the thin space between what was and the unknown of what is ahead. But, I am not walking alone.
God continues to make His presence known in my life with caring family and friends; with good doctors and counselors. He is my provider.
And a heart that’s broken, is a heart that’s open. Open, open.