Right now, as I sit in front of this keyboard, there are at least a half dozen things that I should be doing. However, I cannot go on through this day without taking the time to write what is on my heart, and in my head. I know that I may regret later today not having accomplished the things that I had planned, however, I know that my heart will be unburdened, and I will feel better for having spent the time putting down on paper, as it were, the emotions, feeling, pain, and frustrations that I am experiencing currently.
All of us, that is anyone that is human, and still draws breath, will on occasion have what is called a crisis of faith. Some of these crises can last nearly a lifetime, and others will pass after a period of time, reflection, and prayer. They can be caused by a culmination of events that make one stop, and wonder what the hell is going on; others come about due to our own internalized pain. Or, it can happen due to a combination of both. Right now I, personally, am having what some would call a crisis of faith.
The back story is thus. About four or five months ago, while elbow deep in a raw chicken, my water heater decided to take its last breath. Water spewed everywhere, soaking the floor in the furnace room, and spraying water all over the walls. After this little problem was contained, and I made the decision to forgo getting a new heater right away, lack of money made that decision easy, I figured out a way of having hot water, and continuing on with life. It seemed that try as I might to save up for a water heater something always came up that took away the little bit of money I had saved, causing me to start at zero again. While this was a problem, it wasn’t serious in my mind, just a simple annoyance.
In May of this year a close friend decided that she no longer wanted to live, and attempted to kill herself. I had the unfortunate job of finding her passed out from an overdose, cover in her own vomit, urine, and feces. She would spend the next twenty-one days in a semi-conscious state, attached to machines that kept her breathing. When I found her my first thoughts were not to call her parents, or other family members, but to get her medical help, and to a hospital. This of course, for what ever twisted, perverted reason, led her biological mother (not her legal mother, for she had been given up for adoption by her mom when she was three or four) to accuse me of trying to “murder her daughter.” The ensuing issues with the hospital staff, and a nurse that decided it was his job to manhandle me while visiting, left me with a lateral meniscus that was torn in half, and will need surgery to repair. No good deed goes unpunished.
Fast forward to the end of June, and a young woman that I consider as my daughter, moves to Bloomington, IN to attend Indiana University. This young lady has been a close and dear friend for the past three years, and has helped me deal with many of the medical problems that I face daily. She reminds me to take my medications, to talk with the doctors about the problems I am having, and has helped to hold me responsible for the things I say and do. Now she is an hour plus away, and I have lost a person that once acted as my brain during the many days that I had none. Coupled with her moving came a growing fear on her part that she will not be able to do the things she is wanting educationally. She is bright, brilliant woman, with all the gifts one needs to graduate college, and have a wonderful career in whatever field she chooses. Yet, she has a nagging fear that she will fail.
July is now upon me, and the woman that attempted suicide was staying with me while she recovered from pneumonia. Probably brought on by the near month that she spent on a respirator. While staying with me she has a major breakdown, goes on a binge of drinking and drugs, and decides that she wants to kill her oldest daughter by stabbing her in the eye with a pencil until this bitch of a person is dead. The oldest is twenty-two, and nothing more than an ungrateful bitch, I could use other words to describe her, but bitch is enough for now. I talk my friend into admitting herself to psychiatric at the local hospital, she agrees, and I drive her. A month later she is finally released into an outpatient program, and placed in what I can only call a shelter situation where she can be monitored, continue to get therapy, and have her medications dispensed.
Through all this I am still talking daily to my adopted daughter, trying to assure her that things will work out, and she will succeed. Oh, and my oldest daughter announces that she and her long term boyfriend have set a date to get married. This brings on all kinds of guilt, as I don’t have two pennies to rub together to help them with the wedding.
On to August, and while driving my twenty-three year old car decides that it has had enough for the day, and dies in the middle of the road. Thankfully I have roadside assistance, and was able to get the car towed home. I was able to get a mechanic to come out and look at the car, and after an hour of tinkering in with various parts of the engine, it was determined that the spark-plugs and wires I installed 30,000 miles ago (five years actually) had finally given up. The problem was that they had seized into the block, and did not want to come out. After several days of spraying the plugs down with PB Blaster, and working slowly to get them lose, I was finally able to remove, and replace three of the four. The fourth snapped off, and I am left with a plug that is stuck, and rounded off at the base. I was able to get an extractor into the base, but with the plug being so seized into the block, I have yet been able to get it to turn.
Not having a car, while a pain in the ass, is not the end of the world. There is a bus stop less than a quarter of the block from my house, so I can get to most of my appointments and such. However, a twenty minute trip now takes an hour and a half.
On August 16th, a man, who has been like a little brother to me for the past seven years or so, passed away. He and I both got sick around the same time, he with a fatal kidney disease, and I with my chronic neurological problems. The night he died he had called me and asked if I could come and visit at the nursing home he was in. He was only forty-five, but was no longer able to live in his own apartment, even with assistance. Oh, and the woman that had tried to kill herself, well she had been his live-in caretaker for the past three years, until he ended up in the nursing home. I had to tell him that I couldn’t come to visit due to the car, and that night he died in his sleep. The memorial service for him was yesterday, and the bus ride to the other side of town was long, and sad for me.
Now, with the back story of where I am told, I come to the reason for putting fingers to board. I have reached a point of frustration. Frustration with myself, with my friends, with my God. I keep asking myself “WHY?” Why have all these things happened in such a short time? Why do I not see any light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel? Why now have I started to have flashbacks, and dreams of the horrid things I have seen over the years? Why, no matter how hard I try, do I seem to fall farther, and farther into a hole financially? Why? Why? Why?
Moses had his doubts, but God assured him that He would be with Moses as he led the Israelite out of Egypt, and to the promised land. Elijah had his doubts, but heard the voice of God in the soft whispers of the wind. Jesus had his doubts as he prayed in the Garden. Mother Theresa had years of doubts as she ministered to the sick and dieing. I now struggle with my doubts and fears. I struggle with the idea that God still hears me, and that He is still with me. I struggle with the fears of not knowing what to do, or say next, and will I say the right things. I have doubts about my own faith, and whether it is strong enough to endure all that is happening in my, and my loved ones lives. Yes I pray. But, there are times where all I can do is say the Lord Prayer, for I can’t even bring myself to talk to God without being pissed off.
So here I sit, hoping and praying that some miracle will come along and lift this weight. I feel so weighed down with the burden of my friend who died before I could come and visit one last time. I feel the pain of my friend who was so lost that she tied to kill herself. I feel the fears of my little girl as she prepares for her last couple of years in college. I feel the guilt of not being able to help my oldest as she plans her wedding. I feel the frustration of not having a car that runs, and a water heater that doesn’t work. All these things seem to have piled up over such a short time, and I sit with a bank account that is empty, and a wallet with one dollar in it.
I know that money is not the answer to my problems. I know that I am not at fault for my friend dieing, it was his time. I know I am not responsible for those that try to kill themselves. I know that I can’t hold the hand of a college student everyday. I know that there will be a wonderful celebration at a wedding, even if I can’t help to pay for it. Yet, all these things gathered together have left me with doubts, fears, and pain. I guess I just need to shut up, and listen for the voice of God in the soft whisper of the breezes. It is hard though. All I want to do is shout, and cuss at God to get His act together. I know in my heart that the Lord does listen, and that he is a loving God. I just pray that I can be still, and hold on long enough to hear what it is He is trying to tell me. Otherwise, I fear that I might just end up being a lost cause.