My laptop sits unevenly atop of files and old mail scattered on the crowded desk. Around me, the beginnings of a system form as piles of boxes, books and magazines barricade a bin full of Kleenex. Heaving a heavy sigh, I sit in the organized chaos of the computer room and try to make sense of the factors that came crashing together on Friday. I'm not speaking about the school shootings, stabbings, church bomb threats or the number of attempted assaults that were prevented over the last few days. The media (mainstream and social) have said enough.
Things exploded Friday night when (after mistakenly believing I was getting over this cold) I erupted in a fit of tears and coughs. A friend of mine from high school got married to a really great guy last night (Saturday). I remember sitting in the library in high school, talking about weddings (hers...as I thought even then that my own nuptials were a long shot) and sketching out dress ideas. Her dress would be part pantsuit, part dress (as she wasn't a dress person). I would be in the wedding party and help her with whatever she needed, but mostly, I'd help with the dress.
I wasn't invited.
I knew about the groom's proposal idea from the get-go, saw the ring (via his sister-in-law) when he picked it out, asked how things were going with the wedding planning and all when I'd run into him at the pharmacy... Sent messages at the beginning of the engagement, a letter later on, and congratulatory messages during the ceremony. I sat here watching update after update on Facebook from everyone I use to know before I became a Catholic...everyone who was attending the "wedding of the year" updating with status messages and photos of the dress, the venue, the wedding party.
The wedding party...
The people from our little bubble were all in the wedding party.
I felt their loss severely.
I was upset that I didn't get an invite, or even an announcement...even though I haven't talked to these people in a year. I was more upset than the realization that they wouldn't be there to support me at my baptism last Easter. I'm upset because I'm doing hard things without their support and encouragement, and at the end of the day (or in this case, weekend) I wonder if anything I do has any significance at all.
When I chose to come home and take up the mantle of caregiver six years ago, whenever I made choices that benefited my "duties at home" rather than my personal desire for security and funds, when I followed where I believed God was leading me... did any of it really matter? Any of it? Because each time I come face to face with the things I've lost or given up, it hurts and I have to ask myself time and again...
Is the pain of loss and criticism worth it all?