This week, for the first time in many years, I asked my husband if we could pray together. He said "Uhhh?" and I said "Great" and held on to him tight and asked God and Buddha and Jesus to help me surrender. I asked God and Jesus and Buddha to please not let me be a raving, control freak lunatic maniac. I asked those three to help us decide what to do and when to do it. At the end I said "amen" and my husband said "ramen" and an hour later we packed up our car and headed to the beach in the hurricane.
We had a beautiful, idyllic time at the beach, the first time away from home with my mother since I was a child. The sky put on a good show: darkly romantic with heavy winds and rain one day; sunny and bright and cheerful like a golden retriever the next.
The morning after we got home I got a text from Sarah, my oldest friend, my friend from Kindergarten, my friend with whom I've been through everything we could possibly cram into 35 years, a text that said her mother, her beautiful hot blooded Dominican mother had died, peacefully, in her sleep.
I wept and didn't know what to do and our other friend told me what to do: do what you know how to do, she said. Write something. So I wrote something and poured my heart and tears and love and blood into it and then I called my dad who said in the southwest mountains of Virginia when someone dies bring fried chicken and chocolate cake. So when Sarah called and said not to bring a thing, they had too much food and I told her my dad suggested fried chicken and chocolate cake she said OH GOD YES. BRING THAT. IS YOUR DAD SOME KIND OF GURU?
So I brought "Death and Divorce Fried Chicken" and a big, fat chocolate cake and was swallowed up in the love and community and grief and blessing of her family and community and friends coming together to celebrate and mourn all of life, all of it.
And then I find out my book launch is the same day and time as the memorial service and I fall down on a run and twist my ankle and skin my knee and yell at my son about his homework and my husband hurts my feelings and then I hurt his like dominoes I'm trying to stack back up while they're falling and I'm filled with so many feelings I can't contain them all and I fall to my skinned knees and ask God, Buddha and Jesus to help me surrender, to help me let go, to help me show up the best and only way I can, weepy, a little bloody and with a big fat messy grateful heart.
And then I ask my husband if I'm too much, if he can really handle all of me, and he says "Absolutely. but sometimes just one shot at a time" and that's how I have to handle it all too, one day, one moment, one shot at a time. Praise be and please help: God, Jesus, Buddha and the gurus of Fried Chicken and Chocolate Cake.