I’m going to need you to bear with me the next couple of weeks, dear friends. I’m feeling particularly reflective these days and when that is combined with a heightened awareness of grief as we approach the year anniversary of Rudy’s death and burial, I could err on the side of over posting. My brain is firing at warp speed and, as always, I’d like to somehow capture all the thoughts and feelings and not get totally lost in them but then again maybe I won’t have the energy to do the hard work of processing it all and I’ll go radio silent…it’s hard to know. The vivid memories of Rudy this time last year are already haunting me and Rolf which makes me wonder how we’re going to get through this next week. Awww Rudy, you are beyond missed.
I have a long list of questions for God when I see Him face to face. I have a lot of questions about how this past year unfolded specifically. Aside from the obvious trauma, this has been a very strange year. For reasons beyond our control, many important, traditional events in our family’s annual calendar were cancelled…for example, you may recall that the Thomas fire back in December took out most of Christmas, more recently the major remodel at the Rescue Mission forced the cancelation of the 4th of July celebration for the homeless guests (which is by far our family’s favorite holiday at the SBRM) and just this past week our church decided to cancel Vacation Bible School for a variety of perfectly logical reasons. On the one hand, it could be described as God’s grace to not have to face it all this first year without Rudy (because he was such a big presence in it all) but on the other hand, my disease is taking me faster than I want to go and for that reason I feel like I’m being deprived of the opportunity to fully engage one last time in the special traditions in which I take such great delight. My body is changing and how I interact with my world is only going to look more and more different from here on out. I kinda feel like I’m being deprived of a “victory lap” so to speak (aka Satan’s mockery). Now since I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t revolve around me, I suspect the truth of the situation falls somewhere in between God’s grace and Satan’s mockery of me but the emotional ramifications remain the same…it makes me feel like I’m quietly slipping away behind this thick fog bank of loss & grief and crazy, random life circumstances. I certainly continue to pray and hope that things plateau for me physically and life will stay unchanged for just a minute in the coming year but, if not….
In addition to preparing for Rudy’s 1 year anniversary and contemplating the meaning behind life’s crazy twists, I made the difficult decision to step back from leading worship at the SBRM graduations which means this Saturday will be the first graduation in 11 years where I haven’t led worship (actually, I think I did miss one graduation but it was so long ago I can’t remember why). It’s painful to step back but it seems like the right time as my symptoms become more distracting. I have considered it an incredible honor to share (through worship) in the sacred-ground celebrations of sobriety and freedom with dozens of heroic individuals who successfully completed their year long program over the years…and I will miss it…but I certainly am no less proud of the work of the SBRM staff and residents as I continue my support from the pew! Yay Graduates!! Yay God!!
Thank you again for the fun collection of Lightening McQueen cars and for your prayers leading up to next Wednesday. We are planning a private day but feel surrounded by our loving community as represented by all of Rudy’s cars!!! We are beyond blessed and don’t take any of your expressions of love for granted. Thank you dear ones. We love you too.