The other day the sun poked out, the cold air was replaced by a very very fresh (and much needed and appreciated) burst of warm air. The temperatures climbed and snow began to melt. The forecast shows no mention of snow or sub 20 temperatures (even for lows!). However, something holds me back as I drive along…yep, pot holes.
As I navigated through the video game like mine field that our streets have become I was flattened by a simple metaphor. Whereas the snow and ice kept one from freely driving for so long this winter, just when you think you can finally drive freely, pot holes slow you down. Yes, everything around you is great and that which encumbered you is gone, however, there are now pot holes that those conditions caused that keep you from going care free and/or at top speed.
Such is life. Everything, at times, seems fine. It can even seem to be optimal. Yet, we still move slowly, cautiously, and with great awareness. If we don’t, that “puddle” turns out to be a 12″ wide, 24″ long, and 6″ deep axle snapper (or at least tire blower outer). We have emotional pot holes all over the place. They bog us down. They slow us up. They remind us of the damage that the “winters” of our life have caused us. We thought we left those far behind. We have not.
Joe has been running into some pot holes over the past few weeks. One Saturday on our way to jiu jitsu I asked him if he liked our “car talks” (primarily but not exclusively in regards to me checking in about his feelings about Trey), found them to be awkward, or wished we didn’t have them at all. He said, “Really? The last two.” Saddened and somewhat crushed (especially given our conversation at Christmas) I quickly told him that however he felt that it was perfectly fine. I further reassured him that he could approach me and we could talk anywhere and at any time. I also asked him if when he saw anything that reminded him of Trey would he just quickly shut it out of his mind. He said yes, that he didn’t want to be sad. I let him know that THAT was ok too. The pot holes…they were slowing him down and he was avoiding them.
Then…then, this past Saturday (a month or so later) as we pulled into our parking lot in the strip district (for jiu jitsu) we once again laughed as we saw the attendant who reminds us of “El Macho” from Despicable Me 2. Joe said to me, “You know, every time Trey came to jiu jitsu I would have to cover his mouth to keep him from screaming, “Heeeeeyyyyyyy EL MACHO!!!” out the window.” Man, we both laughed (and I teared a bit inside at him sharing a good memory). Then, yesterday, Joe was flipping through Rachel’s phone looking at pictures while waiting for Bella to finish her “Joyful Twirlers” class. Rachel watched him out of the corner of her eye as he approached Halloween, the last pictures of Trey. Joe looked at them and kept going. He even commented on some and went back for over a years worth of pictures! He would comment on some to Rachel and just kept flipping. Praise, praise God for this young boy growing up and grieving well.
Joe has taken a huge step forward in this healing process which will be a lifetime in its completion. He didn’t just avoid the pot hole or throw some quick tar on it. He nicely paved beautiful memories over top of them. Thank you so much for praying for him and for all of us.