Posted in Mental health, Parenting

Crying at the Rink

They came, finally. The tears. Yesterday, in a flood… releasing the overwhelm, frustration, and confusion that had consumed me for weeks. It felt good. My boys looked at me questioningly, as I puttered about with laundry and dishes, sobbing in between loads.

“I’m fine,” I told them, “just a little bit upset.” They nodded knowingly, with endearing concern in their eyes, before continuing on with their games and chatter.

This second lockdown has got me feeling like I am losing my mind. In addition, my church is experiencing conflicts that are dividing the congregation and resulting in hurt feelings on both sides. I have felt exhausted, emotional, invisible, and value-less.

And I finally told somebody.

“Some days are good,” I had typed in the email to her, “but I’ve had more bad days lately than I’d like to admit. Maybe you can pray for me.”

“Yes, I get it,” came the reply. “I would LOVE to pray for you.”

Was it her simple acknowledgment that my feelings were valid? The immediate effect of her prayers? Or the fact that I am learning to be more vocal about my concerns, whatever the outcome, as opposed to veiling them in some kind of ridiculous, prideful, even fearful – stoicism?

Whatever the case, I felt as though I had put down about seven suitcases full of bricks.

But I was still sad. Once the tears began, they didn’t want to stop.

“Are you coming skating?” My nine year old asked, his hope unhindered by my sorry state.

“I don’t think so,” I said deeply, through my stuffed up nose. My body and mind were weary. And the neighbors might see my tears.

“Ok,” he replied, and was off.

“Mo-om,” my youngest pleaded, “I want to go-oh.”

His persistence brought a smile to my lips. “Oh, alright,” I conceded, “let’s go.”

Ski pants. Boots. Gloves, coats, hats. Boy and skates in the wagon. Skate trainer in hand. Stepping onto the street, we squinted against the sun, and made our way to the rink.

A short time later, gliding over the ice, the cold air dried my tears, and freshened my lungs. A neighbor came to stand beside the rink and chat. Discretely, he held a cigarette between his fingers, not wanting my children to see. He was the one who had set up the rink for the community.

“I’ve seen you out here,” he said to my oldest. “I’ve seen your red jacket out here a lot.” Then, to me – “The last thing you want is to set something like this up, and have no one use it.”

A few minutes after he had returned to his house, a woman came by, walking her dog. “Having a nice skate?” she called. My boys engaged her conversation, in their typically nonchalant way.

“Can I pet your dog?”

“If you like dogs, you can pet her,” and she released the animal from its leash. We learned she was a therapy dog, and that her name was “Claire Bear”. The woman said she didn’t have children (other than Claire). She was on a walk to deliver a gift to a friend. She held a small gift bag in one hand. Later, I wondered if she lived alone (aside from Claire). What kind of loneliness must that be, at a time like this?

The skate was over too soon, even though I hadn’t wanted to come. “Let’s go home. I have to make supper.”

“What are you making?” (The daily, suspense-laden question.)

“Spaghetti.” Cheers, all around.

On the short walk home, I thought about our community. The rink. The Christmas lights. The people. My boys, and their unfettered positivity.

I felt better. All divisive issues aside, we need each other. The woman who prayed for me, the man who set up the rink, the woman with the sweet dog. Where do they stand on everything? Who knows. Who cares. One thing is for certain: we’re all in this together.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

Mother Teresa

A simple question for today: How are you doing? Let me know in the comments.

Warm wishes,

Lisa

Author:

Hi, I'm Lisa, a born-and-bred-in-Manitoba mom of 2 boys. Having lived in 7 different Manitoba towns or cities, I've managed to stay warm in them all 😜❄. I am trained as a music therapist but currently work as a fulltime stay-at-home-mom by day, and a piano teacher in the evenings. By night, well...I sleep. Usually.

15 thoughts on “Crying at the Rink

  1. I am happy that you were able to go out and have a good afternoon after such a heavy morning. When the second lockdown happened for us, there was a lot of tears here as well. I am sorry about your church too. I hope with time that situation is resolved and brings you peace as well. Thinking of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing. The strain of the pandemic is real and you do a beautiful job of validating the need be honest about how we’re dealing with it all … it might not change the situation but it takes off the heaviness of it all. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, I can completely relate to you. I’m at my breaking point. People around us have COVID, my husband doesn’t feel good today and all I wanted is Christmas with my family. I got trashed on my blog this morning by an arrogant know-it-all, deleted my post and have decided not to post for a couple of weeks at this point. I’m so sick of people. Isn’t that awful?! Of course I don’t really, exactly mean that but people are so MEAN these days. This man that knows my dad sent him such a rude Christmas card, exposed him to COVID after screaming for months at my dad that my dad isn’t careful enough (in fact, he’s one of two people who have literally SCREAMED at my elderly parents about not being careful enough, when they both are, and both of those people have had COVID and my parents have not.). My husband’s boss yelled at him today for not being at work when she told him to take the day off. I mean…I’m just absolutely done. Peace on earth? Good grief..it doesn’t seem like it this year. All this to say, you are NOT alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m sorry Lisa. I know what you mean when you say you’re sick of people. I often feel the same way, even though I do actually love people. But as a sensitive soul I know that I take things too hard sometimes and get hurt feelings. With that said, people are often at their worst on social media. I have to distance myself from that too and blogging is not exempt. Sometimes it feels like everything is a popularity contest. And I lose every time. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but that’s just my perception. People are also at their worst when stressed or having to go without certain things. I have been so short tempered lately due to all the inconveniences of the lockdown. I think that’s part of why fasting is so great – it forces me to practice being kind and decent even when going without the things I rely on. I hope you will have a nice Christmas still, with your husband and kids. Are you allowed to see anyone outside your household? We aren’t here. 😟

      Like

  4. I totally get you, both the sadness and the sense of community you felt eventually. This pandemic is certainly hard, but it unites us in a kind of twisted way too. Hope the boys enjoyed their spaghetti.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Been rough over here too. Hard not to get on the blog site and write about it. I feel like I will just be adding more heartache to others who have their own heartache to deal with. I am reading sad stories all over wordpress today but I like to keep up with you all when I have free time. Don’t change anything, what you are doing comes from a good place deep in your heart. It is good to cry, we need to cry. We need to connect, we need to share each others stories…the good and bad. Doing all those things will help us all get through this and remain strong. This why Jesus taught us to love our neighbors and to even pray for our enemies. When we become disconnected, like this virus wants us all to do along with some very powerful sinister individuals…then we all suffer and more hate and chaos will ensue. Live as close to God as possible, follow what Jesus wanted for us all…to care for, spread kindness and love one another. Even in times where it is hard, never loose that faith, this is what I try so hard to teach my children. And keep those tears coming, that is when you are closes to God, that is when Jesus carries us and comforts us the most. In our times of pain. One set of footprints for a reason. I will keep you and your church in my prayers, so important to stay together, do not let the truths divide. God bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. ❤️ You are so right about the disconnection causing more hate and division. I needed your encouragement today. It’s hard to keep loving people when we are divided in so many ways.

      Like

  6. Hi, Lisa. It’s nice to meet another blogging woman from my area of Manitoba. 🙂 (Pretty sure we attend the same church, too, considering what you wrote about it.)

    Have you ever read https://everysmallvoice.wordpress.com/ ? Heather is a local blogger/writer, too. Same church, too! LOL. Small world.

    Anyway, I like reading about real feelings and real women at home with real children. Stories like yours make me feel understood. Keep it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s