Fridays & Firedays

According to my Dad, back in the old days of banking, Friday was called “Fire-day”. That holds true in our case, as this is the day my husband lost his job-11 months after he started and 10 months after we moved to a new state and are finally feeling at home. The tiny roots we have planted have begun to grow deeper, fed by our new friendships, faith community, and beautiful mountain views. We love Knoxville. We don’t want to leave, but time will tell what this new adventure will bring. The Facebook post I didn’t write today: “Honey, if you call me from your personal phone instead of your work phone, I’ll have a pretty good idea why you’re calling...the adventure continues. I believe in you, husband of mine. Happy Anniversary. We’ll celebrate tomorrow.” We’ll celebrate tonight. It is the first birthday party for the little fellow I care for in my job as a nanny. We’ll put smiles on our faces and try to dodge the “what do you do?” questions from well-meaning men trying to make conversation. It is not the time or the place to remove the masks hiding our uncertainty. We’ll eat the food offered to us disregarding our lack of appetite due to the gut-punch received only a few hours ago. And we’ll look around the room and know that we are not alone in this human experience of joys and sorrows. I say this because I am aware of some of the stories hidden behind masks as the mac 'n cheese passes over lumps of sorrow in throats too weary to cry out and eyes that smile, threatening tears that will never dry completely. I know it sounds dramatic, but I call it perspective. We lost a job. They lost a son. Three years ago in a tragic, senseless, fluke of an accident, they lost their son. A son who was the same age as ours. Yes, perspective can have a way of tearing our eyes off of ourselves for a moment so we can look around a bit. It was in this moment that we decided to follow an old-fashioned piece of advice just about everyone with an old-fashioned Catholic grandma has heard: Offer it up. Yep. That’s what we decided to do in that moment while an adorable one-year-old smeared red frosting on his belly and was afraid to take his first taste of sugar in the cake everyone knew he would love. (Isn’t that true of how we can be with God sometimes? I digress, but don’t be surprised if you see that analogy come up in the future…) “Offer it up”, you ask? More on that tomorrow.

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