Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another Pleasantly Disturbed Thursday - and Not So

OK, Duane. Here’s another thrilling episode of Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays. And a not-so-thrilling episode.

I was supposed to be at the dentist this morning for a meeting with him and the lab buy on the color of my new crown but the dentist called last night and said the lab guy couldn’t make it. So I get to visit them both after work. Lab guys must sleep in.

So instead, I did a bike ride, and I did something I can only do when I bike really early (like leaving the house at 5:50 a.m.). I counted the number of bikers-walkers-joggers-bladers and dogs on the trail (the trail is 8 miles long; 18 miles roundtrip; plus two miles from my house to the trailhead and two miles back to my house = 20 miles).

Outbound: 38 bikers; 12 walkers; 12 joggers; 0 bladers; 4 dogs.
Inbound: 37 bikers; 15 walkers; 11 joggers; 0 bladers; 3 dogs.

Two noticeable events of the ride, both on the inbound portion. I passed the retired principal of our local high school who was riding a recumbent bike; and a deranged bunny dashed in front of me and then proceeded to run alongside me for about 20 yards. There’s no connection between the retired principal and the bunny. I think.

I know, doing the counts is dumb. But it gives me something to do and keeps my mind off my aching leg muscles. And to keep from thinking about that email I received last night.

Last night, I received a prayer request from church. I’m a deacon, and the deacons and elders get all the prayer requests. This one stunned me. The granddaughter of friends we’ve known for more than 30 years was killed in a biking accident in South Dakota. She was part of a group biking across America to raise funds for a charity that promotes affordable housing, and she would have been a college senior this fall. (I’ve added the link to the local news story but it’s usually only available for two to three weeks after publication.)

I’ve been reading Parting the Waters by Jeanne Damoff. She tells the story of what happened when her son Jacob, then an 8th grader, nearly drowned. He was underwater for 10 minutes. His friend Jeremy drowned in the same accident. What Jeanne and her family went through is something you can only imagine. She didn’t imagine it; she lived it. And she’s wrote about it with a stark and raw honesty.

What the Damoffs went through, and are still going through, is different from a child being killed in a biking accident. But perhaps not. Both are about personal tragedy and loss. Loss involving a child. What Jeanne writes with such stark, raw honesty applies to any loss.

But not just yet; not until there’s time to grieve and hurt and weep and cling. Then the time will come for understanding. Or trying to.

Sometimes life is just plain hard.


Michael said...

wow. Full of awesomeness.

togetherforgood said...

We just can't understand these things, can we? The grief and the loss, and it all seems so senseless and pointless. And we just what to scream out to God, why are such things allowed? It just hurts so much sometimes.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Yeah. Sometimes life is hard.


math is hard for me and I'm having trouble with your math...

8 miles plus 8 miles... doesn't that equal 16? I'm missing two miles... maybe? or are you? or maybe there's an addition I missed.

Oh my. HELP! :)

katdish said...

I can't believe you actually count stuff while you're riding. This would be impossible for me because of the whole "having to use my fingers" thing.

Sorry to hear about the biking accident. So tragic.

Parting the Waters is such a beautiful, honest gracious book. Much like its author.

Kathleen Overby said...

Confess-do you also count geese in a flock as they fly over? Very complex stuff riding and counting. I'm with Katdish.

I'm glad you're a tender warrior and care about the grief and loss of others.

n. davis rosback said...

pleasantly disturbed
and bitter sweet
gain and loss
sadness and joy
not understood
tearing apart
and reshaping the heart
a million tiny pieces
there are
more stars than we
can count
there is much
to this Love
we are given

Duane Scott said...

You have a powerful brain, Glynn! I could never keep all the different paraphanalia skating, whizzing, jetting around me in perfect numbered fashion.

And the bunny and the principle. I think you should offer that as a writing prompt for tomorrow's blog post. Seriously. Then pick the best one and share it on your blog.

And that's so sad about that poor girl. So tragic.

I gotta tell you, these Thursday posts are becoming my favorites from you. They are full of relevant information about yourself... not just your thoughts. I get to know you better every Thursday.

Jeanne Damoff said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friends' loss, Glynn. You are right that there's no rushing the grief process. I will pray with you that the Lord meets them in this time of intense sorrow. He redeems what no one else can.

Thank you for your kind words about our story. If the time comes when you think your friends would want a copy, I'd be honored to send one.

Also, about the counting. I sometimes find myself counting my footsteps when I'm walking a considerable distance. Not sure why. Maybe it makes me feel like I'm actually getting somewhere?


P.S. Katdish, thanks for your kind words, too. xo

S. Etole said...

My heart hurts for them ...

Maureen said...

Loss is compounded when it comes so suddenly, and randomly. It is at such times when the words "Why oh why hast thou forsaken me?" resound so loudly. The grandson of friends was murdered by a home intruder who killed his mother, too, when she came in the door. It's almost impossible to describe the shattering that tragedy caused. Let the grief and tears rise and spill. And may you and your friends hold each other close.

Deidra said...

i have a counting thing. i count everything. and yesterday when i was riding my bike i counted the number of times my legs pumped the pedals. i kept losing my place and starting over. it's what i do.

and yes. sometimes life is just hard.

Sandra Heska King said...

Teach us to number our days . . .

Life seems so deranged sometimes. Disturbed. Disturbing.

I run the range of emotions when I come here.

HisFireFly said...

While you number riders He numbers our days...

"Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed" Job 14:5

Linda said...

Yes - sometimes life is absolutely unbearable. My heart hurts for them. I think the hardest part for those of us who trust the Lord is trying to make some sort of sense of it all and finding there just aren't any easy answers.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen to that, Glynn!