spent some time in the car with mom today. we had to run into the city to pick up a few parts for her car. nothin spectacular… but the conversation on the way home made me think.

now that ive got a job and cash flow is increasing, i had to ask mom for some ideas on what to get one of my sisters for her birthday. she just turned 21 a little more than a week ago. and at the time, i wasnt working yet, so a birthday present had to be postponed.

mom said something akin to,

“she (being my sister) was a little disappointed seeing as how it was her 21st birthday… and we didnt do a whole lot. so i think we’re gonna do somethin a little bigger for her in the next few weeks”

which makes a ton of sense. i mean, you only turn 21 once. and it was a crappy week for her. she wasnt even supposed to be in town for her birthday. she was supposed to be on her honeymoon. but things changed. so, the nite of her birthday wasnt anything spectacular.

it was hearing mom say that though, that brought back memories of my 21st birthday. i dont even think i had a party that year. the family took me out for lunch… and all in all it was a good day. but there wasnt any money for anything else. i think i may have gotten a shirt… and maybe a pseudo-coupon from the family for a new desk or something. whatever the coupon was for, i never did cash it in.

i mentioned that fact to mom after her comment. i simply said that i knew what sarah felt like, my 21st birthday wasnt anything amazing either…

moms response?

“lets not even go there”

ouch.

now, i know what she meant was that during that period in history, the family wasnt doin all that great… i mean, it was the beginning of hell. and the cracks in the foundation had just begun to show through the years of pretty and well placed paint we used to try to cover everything up with.

but still. it hurt.

so now i sit here, the new matt redman disc quietly spinning in the background… and im feeling very lost.

its saturday, and up till now, ive given it a very valiant effort. i got up before 10, made coffee, i made a run to walmart, and the car parts store. came home, found out more info about what i needed, and went back to the car parts store.. this time with mom. put the car parts on moms car. came in, and mom and sister went to bed. and i was left with my thoughts.

all in all, i have put forth a very good effort so far today.

im trying. really i am. im trying to keep a stiff upper lip. im trying not to hurt. im trying not to cry. im trying not to miss rochester… my own place… bethel. im trying so hard… and it seems like no one down here is noticing how hard it is to be here.

the more i live, the more i realize that pain is simply a part of life… and honestly, i am beginning to believe that for some of us, pain will always be a part of who we are. wether its a physical pain we carry from some horrendus accident, or from a selfless act while trying to save someone.. or wether its pain that is carried not in the body, but in the soul.

and maybe, just maybe, that for a chosen few… we’re asked to continue to walk a road we dont understand in a world in which we are strangers. and maybe just maybe, our questions wont be answered. and we must find in ourselves, the will to keep going. the will to keep fighting. the will, to never look backward at who we once were… but the vision to realize that we must keep fighting. we must keep putting one foot in front of another. we must keep going.

we must keep living.

“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are. You’ll see what I mean.” -Whistler

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