I haven't really been fully invested in writing much for the last week. I've been almost completely distracted the entire time, and admit to having done a poor job of forcing myself to focus.
Of course, the migraine I've been nursing for the last 6 days isn't helping either.
I am supposed to write not one, but two posts in my summer music series today, but I think that I'm going to have to do this instead. I will keep going with the music eventually, and as I've already admitted to a few people, I will be extending it.
I was absolutely right about not being able to limit that series to 31 days.
But first, this.
The last ten days around here have been the kind of days that don't make any sense at all. Where things happen, and it's difficult, if not impossible to see where the reasons may lie.
Though the shooting wasn't in my town, it wasn't that far away. I struggled with it enough as it was before it was thrust into my face in a personal way. Scary enough to think about the fact that it could have easily been my son and my husband in that theater, scary enough to think about the fear that must have been in the hearts of those who were there, scary enough to envision a world where things like this happen at all.
And then, Monday.
A friend of mine, fighting for her life, fighting to come back to us, fighting to stay herself. Fighting for reasons that I can't comprehend and that make no sense to me. For many hours that day, we weren't sure what was happening. By that evening, we found ourselves holding up walls in a waiting room shared with the families of the shooting victims.
All of us waiting. Wondering. Asking why. Holding hands and bowing heads together, this room full of strangers.
In that moment, I saw the best and worst of humanity. I've seen it many days since.
My friend and this innocent victim, in beds not far from one another, fighting a fight that in many ways is no different, but for completely different reasons.
Neither of which make sense.
I've had so many people tell me about how things happen for a reason, and how we aren't privy to those reasons. How we are supposed to trust that somehow these tragedies are part of a plan we get no part in drafting. We are supposed to be strong and be hopeful and be resolute in our faith.
I'm just not so sure.
There is too large a part of my soul that needs reason. That craves explanation. That wants to know why horrible things happen to good people.
I have found myself asking that question far too many times these past few years. For my family, for my friends, for complete strangers, for myself.
Sitting here with my children, we watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics a few nights ago and I pondered who would sing. Two years ago, k.d. lang sang Hallelujah in the Winter opening, and simultaneously touched my heart and broke it. A thousand miles away, my father was engaged in the fight of his life that evening. We'd come close to losing him only a few days later.
In a split second, I both hoped that Annie Lennox would sing and that she wouldn't because I knew exactly which song she would sing if she did, and I wasn't sure that I could hear it right now. It would be this one.
I'm grateful she didn't sing it. I have spent many years perfecting the art of shielding my children from my own sorrow, but songs like that one strip me of my defenses. It took me a few days to work up the strength to even write this post.
I want to believe that there are reasons. I do. With every ounce of my being I want to believe it.
I just know that sometimes those reasons don't show themselves to us. That sometimes it never makes sense. That time doesn't heal all the way some people say it is supposed to, that sometimes all it does is put more distance between then and now.
I'll pick myself up in a bit here. Build the shield again. Get back to the tasks at hand.
For a while though, I'm going to be staring at the sky, looking for a reason.