I’ve been thinking about these delights quite a lot lately.
What qualifies as a delight? There are quick shots of delight- they dance on your tongue like dark chocolate.
And then there are delights that brew in your head. They are not immediate- it is not instant. Perhaps a process that sooner or later it becomes a delight- a little more lasting a little more precious- laced with complexity and life.
My latest delight is around a conversation, albeit born out of intense pain, it is a quiet, coveted delight. I can delight in this honesty and our ability as a family to touch something that at times seemed untouchable.
Last week I sat with my dad and my Hubs. We stopped in for lunch after skiing. Conversations evolved from small talk to tough talk.
My dad has a dear friend that just lost a grandson in a horrible accident. Our collective heart aches for them.
“How is Mr. B?” I asked
“Well, you know. Not good? Okay? Sad? Hanging in there? It’s heartbreaking knowing the hard days ahead for him and his family. I want to tell him just to hang on. It can be really awful for a while and I just don’t know how to say it.”
“I always think of the Sara McLaughan song…..hold on, hold on to yourself, cause this is gonna hurt like hell…”
I grabbed a napkin and held it to my eyes, “it still makes me cry.”
I blew my nose and we all took a long drink of our Mary Jane ale. And watched the Olympics. Because you know, when you don’t know what to say……sports…and beer.
And then I broke the silence.
“But you should tell him something Dad. Seriously. You should tell him that he is going to be okay. That his family is going to be okay. That sometimes is feels like you never, ever will. But you need to tell him that you trust, you know that Mr. B is going to be okay. You telling him that you know he can survive this, that trust when it seems like the whole world is doubting…..that trust is everything.”
“I know….I know.”
“Trust is good, Hubs interjected, “A stiff upper lip can be good too.”
I grabbed Hubs’ hand and squeezed it, “And sometimes you have to tell yourself that we all grieve in different times, in different spaces and in different ways. And the only thing you can do is honor everyone’s process,” I bit Hubs’ finger in thought and angst. “Please tell him you know. You know, he will be okay.”
We watched the Super G. People missed gates, missed times, racers fell and for some, the race, the dream they had been planning for a lifetime was shattered.
It was nothing compared to the shatter we just discussed.
But somehow, we all get up. Maybe we get up because someone on the side tells us they know we can. Maybe it’s just our shear will and moxie. But we do it. And it hurts like hell.
And years later we sit around a pitcher of Mary Jane Ale and chicken nachos, dab teary eyes with rough napkins, knowing that we survived. Is it delightful? No, it’s not. But it is peppered with delight, gratitude, moxie and survival. I’ll take that spicy blend any day.
And to Mr. B and family. We see you you. We grieve your enormous loss. Trust in this shitty process. We have nachos and beer when you are ready.