In early December, Georgia had the eerie news of a little girl gone missing in Canton. For me, all children are called 'babies' -- as my family will attest to. My husband's job involves working closely (from time to time) with law enforcement. These can be very dark days...but sometimes they are brilliant when the 'bad guy' is caught. "I can still hope" came a blurted reply as he quietly shut the door behind him.
Evening brought the worst news. She had been forcefully taken, and brutally killed. Helpless, innocent and completely unwarranted. How? Why? I cried, and I know every good mother who heard the news, cried with me. Sometimes, when life brings it's 'unexplainable' moments..I have a little coping system. I simply 'switch' my inner circuit and I just turn my heart's breaker to 'numb me please'. It works quite well. I carry on and keep going and just don't stop to think about it. It's far too sad to think of. Sad for everyone involved--even the killer. In taking that sweet baby's life, he took his own -- as he has no future now. Nothing but punishment. He has taken the life of his family members..as they will have to continually try and endure the reality of their son's crime. No. It's far easier to just switch off.
Morning brought a rush out the door for our 17 year old's final exam. Driving towards the school I pre-quizzed her with motherly questions, such as - "Are you sure you're prepared? Do you have everything you need? What time do you need to be picked up? Is there enough lunch money in your account?"
"Why?" came her perplexed reply as she sandwiched the next two layers of lashes together in the dimly lit car. "You like to sew, and put things together.."
"I know, but I just think it's absolutely fascinating that there are things in this world that we can't see with the human eye, yet do so much for our world. Many forms of plankton are microscopic and yet plankton on the ocean accounts for most of the oxygen we breath. Isn't that amazing?" My passionate recital was met with an "Ummm...yeah". It was the same tone she used when asked if she was the one who left the milk out...
I couldn't sew that day. I only sew if I'm happy. I have this curious belief that everything I create shows a reflection of ourselves -- and I didn't want to make anything in my robotic state of mind. I decided to give the house and laundry a thorough cleaning, as it had been so neglected over the months (there's just so many other things to do and cleaning is such a drag..). So after a fitting breakfast, I shrugged off my gloom and put my game face on - I mean, isn't cleaning a sport in some fashion? I grabbed 2 multi-vitamins, as I knew I was going to need all the help I could get to tackle this mess -- I only stopped briefly as I swallowed, and wished there was some form of tablet we could give our world to make it better.
A multi-tasker by nature, I had clothes washing, clothes drying, half the bathroom cleaned, half the dishwasher emptied, half the bed made and half the living room picked up when I heard the dryer tell me it was time for the second load to go in...only it didn't. The dryer stopped working....My top of the line, latest, greatest, don't even want to talk about how much they cost, washer and dryer system was only half working. I pressed. I turned off, I turned on again. I hit it, I shook it, I screamed at it..but no response.
"Ma'am", it's the fuse, it's out", said our repairman, who looked very much over-worked and weary.
My mind thought "Yay! It's just a fuse!" I was thinking it was going to be something big like 'drum replacement' and take a week to get to.
I was expecting the man to tell me he would need to get the fuse from his van and be right back -- but no. The analysis was, that he would have to order this special type fuse and it would take about a week for him to get it. "What!" I said, in a not so kindly tone. "It's December. It's Christmas time and I'm suppose to go without a dryer for a week? Surely it won't take that long to get a fuse!" I looked deeply into his eyes, willing myself to hypnotize him and be under my full control as my voice ended on quite a stern note.
The repairman lowered his head in a cowardly position as my husband stepped in with an upbeat, far more civilized reply. "Well, if that's what it takes, that's what it takes" he smiled, and shook the man's hand graciously. Inside I was steaming. I admire my husband's cordial treatment towards others..but then I began to think...if I only did .05 percent of the household laundry, I could reply that way as well.
It's interesting how our hearts work. When switched to numb, I discovered that not only were my own feelings severed, but I seemed to not really care about anyone else either. In turning the warmth of my heart off...I had literally switched other things off too...like a very useful dryer. Perhaps I was the one who needed a fuse replacement. The repairman came, and he was welcomed into a much temperate home. I chatted with him as he installed the new fuse. There are many sounds I love. My husbands voice, my children's laughter, rain falling on the roof -- but oh, the delightful noise of a perfectly working tumble dryer!
The following day, the new repairman came to our door. He discovered the wrong type of fuse had been replaced. He quickly went out to his van and 'voile' came in with the right fuse. I wanted to hug him when I heard that beautiful sound of the drying going. When he left, I sat and wondered what the lesson was in my life here...because, you know, there's always a lesson...
We can choose to allow ourselves not to feel. But in doing so, we shape our inner and outer world. In the face of evil, hatred, selfishness and unspeakable acts, I chose to switch off. I chose to be as cold and numb to a world that seemed to reflect the same. But instead, I needed to replace my fuse with the right component. I needed to turn up the warmth and love to a higher degree. We all have our coping mechanisms. Over this past, very interesting Christmas I have been given my own exam. The test came in the power of fuse replacement. Is it possible, that when we witness so much coldness in our world...it's because we're not giving it enough warmth..?
Why does God let this ol' world keep spinning? Because there is still love here. I believe that as long as one drop of love is left on this earth...the earth will keep going. Can you imagine how beautiful it could be with a cup of it..? Believe with me.
Chimene and Family
P.S. Just so you know--the dryer is acting up. Seriously. It keeps going and going and it won't shut off--even when the clothes are finished. It just stays warm all the time. I don't really know if it's broken...or just a part of my lesson. But "That's Okay."--- "I Can Handle This."