As I began this week?s column, I wandered the house, trying to figure out how to put these conflicting emotions to paper. Clutching my steaming cup of coffee, I paced, knowing Mr. Harris and my daughter soon would be home with groceries and the expectation I would have completed my task during their absence. Still, I found myself staring out into the yard, grasping at thoughts, turning them over and discarding them one by one. So much to convey, bubbling around inside me, but fear clutched my heart. What if I caused additional pain to those also trying to make sense of the events the previous week? Normally I would go run myself to exhaustion, allowing my mind to work through the joy, pain and tragedies, rather than try typing it to a page. Running is a mental release for me in spite of my body screaming like a spoiled little girl. ?Stop,? my lungs gasp, as my legs whine, ?We?re tired, we want to go back now.?
My back complains constantly, ?I don?t like this route, there are too many holes.? My mind, however, ignores this clamor and barks like a drill sergeant, ?Shut up and run!? Eventually physical exhaustion overtakes the mental whirling of unresolved thoughts. As my body exhausts, my spirit settles. Ask any runner and they?ll tell you the same. Stuff gets fixed in your brain when you run. With a rehabbing IT band injury, going out to pound through a couple of miles simply isn?t a possibility. After months of no running, I?m back on baby steps to 5K sometime after summer hits the triple digits. In case you didn?t figure it out already, that?s a lousy time to begin logging miles again. Something about melting asphalt and lightning strikes takes the let?s go right out of my vocabulary. Still, I am eager to run, even the puny distances prescribed, so perhaps I can find my way back to some sense of peace. Our weekend included great joys and devastating tragedy. We know in eternity?s time table, all is well, but here in the now, saying it sucks doesn?t even begin to express our feelings. Another senseless tragedy fuels our frustration, breaking our hearts. Emotionally scattered, we went from celebrating the life of an honorable man, to a friend?s graduation, experiencing the joy of rekindled friendships and ended with Mother?s Day. Church on Sunday further stirred sobering thoughts in my mind, reminding me before long, things aren?t going to be as they are anymore. With two short years before college beckons, my daughter will soon depart for school as many of her friends are doing right now. The sense of joy and loss, wedded together, in a short forty-eight hours left me feeling hopeful and yet bereft at the same time. We must celebrate, but how can we possibly do so under these circumstances? How do we crush the cry of the spirit so the hope of the heart can be heard? Through it all, the deep appreciation of my family and our blessings pressed hard on my heartstrings. I?m sure both Mr. Harris and my daughter are tired of being hugged and kissed. I don?t care a bit. The crush of emotions still overwhelms me despite my best efforts to think clearly. The only thing I can think to do is run, and I can?t, so I will write and I will pray. Proverbs says that even in laughter, the heart may sorrow, and now I know this to be true.