Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Honestly, there were times when I wondered if I would ever write again.  

The after-February-10-2011 hiccup started out normally enough.  If you were around then, you remember that I was "going green" and revamping and blogging Thanking God When You're a Basket Case, and it was going great.  But sometime right after posting "One Hot Mama," St. Michael moved my notes while I was hard at work at the School House (must've been one of those mornings he was in cleaning-mode; see why I like to keep him on the golf course as much as possible?).  

No problem, I thought; I'd continue as soon as I recovered them.  Well, in the real world of blogging while also working full time to shape the hearts and minds of adolescents, one day turned into another, and before I knew it a week had gone by, and then another.  (And those notes still have yet to be found, sisters, and meanwhile . . .  well, on to that in a minute.)  

Then St. Michael announces one fine Sunday afternoon on the way home from the Church House that he thinks we should downsize (from the two-story Casa to a one-story) -- and says it just like it's his very own idea.  

NOTE:  The last time I'd mentioned down-sizing, he'd said I could down-size with my next husband but that he was living in the Casa until he died.  I told him that if he didn't change his attitude that could be sooner than he thought, but, truth be told, I loved the Casa (with the exception of the stairs that I tend to fall down), so I let that dog lie and just prayed about it.  God is good.

Reader's Digest Version:  Six weeks later, we moved into our one-story Casita, on the next corner, across the street from the Casa.  (We love our neighborhood, and so it was a matter of location, location, location.  From the Casita's driveway, we can still see Debbie and Terry's house, next door to the Casa, and we share our back fence with Mary and Carroll.) 

Packing up, stripping wallpaper, sewing curtains, painting, moving -- all in the midst of the aforementioned Monday-through-Friday adolescent-heart-and-mind-shaping -- those things account for busyness.  Not really for not writing.  

I wondered if I would ever write again not because I lacked hours but because I lacked words.  A rarity for me.  But I lost my words on March 3.  And it had nothing to do with working or playing or moving.  

I sat at my kitchen table that night checking E-mail as I had done a zillion other evenings, nothing out of the ordinary.  

Until I opened an E-mail from a friend and staff member at the Big Church.   

I read the E-mail and my brain totally garbled the words.  I'm usually only dyslexic with numbers, but that evening it was the letters that danced around the screen, refusing to make sense.  I got up from my computer, went and stood at the kitchen sink for a minute, and then returned to the table to try again.  

. . . called distraught this pm to say that someone went into the church in Arlington and beat up the secretary and killed her son Clint . . .       

Clint Dobson.  He called me "Mamalicious," and I adored him.

Clint was the most incredible young man I'd ever known.  I'd known him as a teenager, but came to love him during the two summers he'd chosen to love on "my people" as he interned in the tiny congregation I pastored.  

We'd talked theology.  We'd talked people.  We'd talked about what it was like to love Jesus, the great love of our both lives, and what that looked like in our every day walking and talking. 

And, of course, we'd spent hours -- often over Tookie burgers and onion rings -- talking about the next greatest love of his life, Laura, and the life he hoped to have with her.  (I once joked that I'd been a size 8 before Clint came to intern.)  

I sang at their wedding.

When Clint got his first church position as an interim pastor at a tiny country church while he was still in seminary, we texted each other over-the-top words of encouragement on Sunday mornings just before we were each to preach.  (This was our main duty in what Clint dubbed our mutual admiration society.) 

I lost my words when Clint was taken.  As days went by and bits and pieces of hideous details of Clint's last afternoon emerged, my words seemed to do what I wanted to do.  They bolted.  They hid.  They crawled under some kind of deep, dark cover, refusing to be called back out.  Totally out of my grasp.  

Truth be told, I had no energy to reach for them had they been right out in plain sight, right there in front of my face.  And more truth be told, I didn't know if I even wanted them.

For a long time, silence in the dark seemed easier.  

But I'm a writer.  I am words.  And though Clint is not here, I am.  Thus, so are my words. I am re-learning to embrace them, struggling not to continue to hold them at arms' length.  At the moment, it is an awkward slow dance between former lovers desiring to reconcile but not quite sure of the former pattern, the old fit.

There's lots more I need to say about these past months.  But these are enough words for today.   


PS  Thank you to Brenda at Cozy Little House for encouraging me (and others) to keep it real.

1 comment:

  1. My heart goes out to all those affectived by this horriable event.
    I'm hoping you are at a place where you can remember the best.