If we were having coffee right now
I would be laughing
It depends on which me shows up.
If default-Nichole showed up, I would tell you about how I busy I am, how I love my job and my family and my friends and creating things and fleshing out ideas. How my girls are becoming beautiful women and my dearest friends. How my husband, somehow, all at once, drives me absolutely nuts and yet amazes me with his undeserved love and loyalty. I would tell you that lately, God speaks to my heart in ways so deep they can hardly be searched out and formed into words. And I would listen. I would listen to you and laugh with you and love you.
If grieving-Nichole showed up, I would tell you through tears that I don’t know how to do this thing we call life anymore. That I hate what God has done to our family. I would tell you that I still startle upon remembering that my baby brother is gone. Dead and gone from this world forever. I would remind you that in the last five years we’ve lost six family members and two beloved dogs. I would tell you that my girls are growing up and leaving me and I am crushed. That their going – even the prospect of their going – feels like having the air sucked out of my lungs, like my heart and body are drying out, shriveling like dead leaves. I would tell you that I am alone. And I am lost.
If at-her-wits-end-Nichole showed up, I would tell you that I am done. Done trying to convince myself that God is good. Done defending the Lord to myself, to my friends, to my family. Done comforting myself with hollow words like “everything will be ok”. Done hoping. Done praying. Done dreaming. Done fighting. Yes, most of all, I’m done fighting.
And I suppose, if just plain-old-Nichole showed up, if all-of-me showed up, I would tell you that it’s all true. Every word: I am lost. I am done. I am filled with love.
But most of all, I am broken. Because love breaks you. Love breaks you and remakes you. And all this life is a being filled and being emptied, being built and being shattered.
I would tell you that I am always, ever learning to walk broken. Because after one break heals, sometimes before it heals, there comes another and another. In this life, the breaking never stops. And so I learn again and again to walk broken. To walk with new scars, another fracture, more pieces of my heart missing.
Because this is life. And this is love. And it’s the only Way that I know.
If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you I’m sorry. I’m sorry for offering you my pain, exposed and bare, without a veil to hide the ugly. I’m sorry for asking questions when I have no answers. I’m sorry that I can’t wrap this up in pretty paper and tie it with a bow.
And I would thank you. For listening. For laughing. For loving. But most of all,
for your truth-gleaming eyes that burrow into mine and tell me that you know…you know that this day, this moment, this all-of-me,
never will be
all that I am.
©Nichole Q. Perreault
Written in response to Writing 101, Day 11: Update Your Readers Over a Cup of Coffee. Incidentally, I don’t drink coffee but I I think the post would have sounded a bit weird if I kept saying “If we were having lemonade right now…”