Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Post-Easter Reflections

Everyone who follows this knows it's been a very difficult year so far for me.  I lost My David on Christmas Eve and the aftermath of mourning has been a series of ups and downs as I try to understand God's plan and keep my temper at the people around me who think I should be done being sad.

It's getting easier, I hit a plateau in February, but March was completely off and April has been one stress after another.  Work, choir, grandbabies, Easter without David - I've been feeling rather sorry for myself.  

Fortunately, I do have people who love me.  I just have to believe that in my heart, even though I know it in my brain.

It's been 4 months since David died.  Sometimes I listen to recordings of his voice - we used to record Skype conversations sometimes and there's a message on my home phone answering machine from him that I will never erase.  

I miss my friend David. And Easter was his favorite time of year for some reason - he loved Lent and the contemplation of his life, the pageantry of the Stations of the Cross and the incredible story of the Resurrection.  

The Choir sang beautifully on Easter Sunday - only two songs, but the second one was a doozy and we got everyone clapping and cheering by the end.  I'm waiting to see if the video is posted on the church website - if there was a video - there usually is.

After spending the day before coloring eggs with my girls and hanging out with my oldest son and daughter (missing my younger daughter and son, who are busy with work) - my daughter Claudia spent the night with me and we took the girls to church on Sunday.  Everyone there was happy to see her after so long - she's busy with school and work and hasn't visited in a while.

After we took the girls home to John, Claudia took me out to lunch and we hung out for about two hours at the local international market - what a blast!  They had everything and anything you could ever want and I'm thinking I might go shopping there more often. Asian, European, Mexican, Russian - an almost endless array of goodies.

Claudia and I always have fun hanging out together - but I missed Clara being a part of it, because I know she would have loved it too.

And I miss My David.  He would have strolled through the store making rude comments about the frozen alligator legs and squids and chickens with their heads still attached.  David would have talked about Belgian chocolate, the array of vegetables he'd only heard about, and teased me about how I wanted to start cooking everything right away.

As much as I love my kids and hanging out with them in odd places, this would have been a great way to spend Easter with My David.

But God's got something else for me to do, and I only hope He can forgive me for missing David so much as I try to work toward whatever the Lord has in mind.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adventures in Church Choir Directing

It is 10 days until Easter.  

I struggle with keeping things fresh with my choir.  At almost age 52, I'm actually one of the freshest of us there.  

David was supposed to be here to help me (and be my sound engineer), and we were going to "Rule The World" together.  I looked forward to introducing him to my church family, something he wasn't quite sure he understood, and to having someone in the tech deck who, as the Pastor put it, "got me."

They are a wonderful, loving, caring group of people who encourage me most of the time and put up with my expectations of choral greatness.  When my dad passed away in 2007, these people were my strength and singing was my outlet for grief.

When David died in December, they were all there again, telling me how much they loved me and allowing me my all-encompassing grief for a few weeks.

But I think I've done it again.  I've gotten my hopes up, raised my expectations too high and fear I am inadequate to the task of being the girl in charge.

I struggle with so many things in my life - the grief, the physical and mental exhaustion of trying to help keep some stability in my grandchildren's lives, the endless hours sitting at a desk doing nothing because I've already done it all before 10 am.

So when someone tonight told me that everyone was going to be looking at me on Easter, I simply stopped.

I was so excited about this music that I picked, and they were doing their best to learn it and make it sound like the real thing instead of a small church choir.  If David had been here, he would have put his wonderful ear, his instant recognition of what needed to be done, and his fingers to work on the sound board to make it sound great.

But everyone is going to be looking at me on Easter.

I am trying very hard to be my own champion since David is gone now.  Or, actually, I'm trying very hard to allow God to be my champion, which is what I should have been doing in the first place.

I don't want them to look at me at Easter.  I want them to look at God.  

I was hoping the music would allow that, bring the people to Him and Him to the people.  It's part of the reason why I accepted the choir director's position.

Meanwhile, I try to give the choir the chance to sing and do it well, and some nights are harder than others, but tonight everybody was looking at me.  

I love performing.  I love teaching.  I love directing.  I am excited by every new shiny thing that I can do or say or sing. 

But I don't want everyone to look at me.