I wake up earlier than I want on a Saturday morning (but that's nothing new, is it?). The plans for today aren't what I had looked forward to. I had anticipated a lazy day, where we had no plans, because sometimes no plan at all is just the plan you need to re-charge and reconnect as a family - particularly when the last time you had that no-plan, a mere week ago, Mommy spent the morning raging at kids who didn't deserve it, slamming cabinets until their frames fell apart, and finally leaving the mess for her husband to deal with, because something inside her just couldn't take it all - all of this thing called life.
Yet, on this same Saturday morning, another woman awakes - if she slept at all, because who can sleep when the warmth beside her is gone? When there were sounds through the night and your protector is missing - and won't ever return? She awakes, if she even caught those forty winks, through the night-sounds and the nightmares, to find she is still in the nightmare.
How had she planned, just a week ago, to spend this day? Was there a birthday party to attend? A gathering of friends, family? Was he finally going to get to that project she'd been bothering him to finish? Or just mow the yard so it could be clean cut for another week? Had she planned to snuggle in just a little longer next to that man of hers, pretending they couldn't hear the kids down the hall, for just a few minutes? Or do their boys toddle in to crawl into bed, asking where's Daddy? At work? No, not at work, because he never made it to work on Tuesday morning, when he slipped quietly out of the house in the early morning hours to go earn a paycheck and take care of his family.
I grieve for her. I grieve for the third time in less than a year and a half for a woman too young to be widowed. A woman now left alone with two little boys who don't understand why they can't wrestle with Daddy - one of whom may be too young to even remember his face a year from now. And then there's the one in her womb - the one they announced to the world only a few weeks ago - the one who will never meet this man called "Daddy."
And she'll have to do it all alone. Or at the very least without the one who is half of the life inside of her - who was all of her life on the outside. The ultrasounds, the first kicks, the first contractions, the first push, the first cry - all without him who helped her create this miracle (though, thankfully, she has Him Who is the creator of all miracles).
And I thought my life was too much?
So I awake on this Saturday morning, the same one where she will be saying final good-byes to a man with whom she had planned to spend her entire life, not realizing his would end at twenty-four, to serve her. A minuscule gesture of love to someone who is hurting more than I can imagine. In a world that is too much pain.
And it's not what I planned, but then, it's not what she planned, either.