I had a whole post worked out in my head about how a baby changes everything (me? inspired by a song? get out!) And how I was feeling today, which you'll also find is rather commonplace on this blog of mine (me? talk about myself? get out!) Anyway, I took a bath because, well, my shower at school is so small I can...you don't even want to know. It's really small. And I came back into my room and glanced into the closet. Everything has been moved around so much because not only did I move so much to school and into storage, I transferred rooms to give Taylor the big room. And so, I guess these things fell out of a box or a bag or something, but I found some miscellaneous items on the closet floor, and the memories stole my breath so quickly that I had to sit. They were photos, and photo-lover that I am, (if you didn't know that, let me go ahead and admit: I am a total picture junkie. They just don't show up too often here because I'm lazy and don't upload 'em.), I had to thumb through them, and I had to get teary-eyed remembering. Most of them were of a weekend that Callie and I spent at the beach with our youth group, but since we're best friends, most of them are of the two of us. We're in the middle of the ocean. We're posing on the deck. She's blowing a putt-putt ball into it's hole; I'm smiling next to a boy who's got his arm slung lazily around me as we pause from our baskets of fried shrimp. Taylor is three years old, gazing into the camera with a birthday crown on his head. The trip was a lot of fun, sure, but nothing extremely memorable. And that's just it; I didn't take inventory, I didn't stop and write down how it felt to be 15, and I'm scared because I can feel the time speeding by me so. I want to write all of it down so that I can remember how it feels to be 18, 19, 20. But I don't want to spend so much time remembering things that were and feeling anxious about remembering now in the future that I totally miss right this minute. I loved that trip; I loved that time. Would I go back? No way! I love right now, too! I'm a completely different person now, and I think that's cool. I've lived and I've learned and I've matured and then I've realized I don't got nothing figured out! But, still...the memories!
Moving right along. This weekend my dad asked me to do some of his Christmas shopping which quickly turned into all of his Christmas shopping (less than a week before Christmas. I'll let that speak for itself.) When I had to order things because IT'S ONLY A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND EVERYBODY IS OUT OF EVERYTHING OR DIDN'T HAVE IT IN THE FIRST PLACE BECAUSE YOU WAITED UNTIL THE WEEK OF CHRISTMAS TO SHOP, DAD, he got kind of peeved and then I got super peeved. I mean, here I am, running all over God's green Earth to save his butt and make sure that everyone doesn't get animated fish aquariums from Belk as per 2007, and I order all my highly-demanding little sister's presents, and get them here by Christmas, and he is concerned about shipping, but insists she have things to open on Christmas morning. Newsflash, Dad: You have to plan ahead. Dad insists that things "work themselves out," and this attitude shows up whether he's buying Christmas presents on the 20th or heading to another DUI trial; what Dad doesn't realized is that people work things out for him, thus they appear to "work themselves out," but really, not much in this world just works out. Somebody has to pay for shipping, Dad, or else Emilee will be looking at pictures of her presents that are en route on the 25th. Anyhow, this is how I was really towards Dad, tonight; I was sick of shopping and wrapping and picking up his slack again. But this background explains why I went to his house in the first place: I had to pick up some more presents to wrap. Chris was making dinner, and I had a 20-minute time window to get there and get back. I let myself in, and the house was mostly dark and quiet, which is how it's been for awhile now. Dad was in his recliner, with a tv tray, complete with used plate and fork, to the side.,like that scene with Arthur in The Holiday. He had the saddest look on his face. It's name was loneliness, or maybe regret or hurt. I made small talk, and asked about his dinner- leftovers. He helped me get the presents to my car, and then he went out on a limb and asked me to stay. I looked at his face, at the hope in his eyes. Just for a minute. And then I turned.
"Chris is making dinner," I said. True.
"I'm supposed to be right back." Also true. He nodded like he understood, and I'm sure he did. But what I'm also sure of is that he went back inside and sat in his recliner, alone. He put his dishes in the dishwasher and turned the kitchen light out and went to bed, alone. I got in my car and instantly regretted leaving, and nearly turned the car around, except that I wanted to avoid the awkwardness that would come if I showed up again. Now I regret that. Dad's a pain in the butt most of the time. Dad's selfish a lot of the time. He deserves most of his loneliness and hurt and pain, and he has a lot to regret. He's pushed his family away and forgotten them when it mattered that he remember. He's chosen other things over us at nearly every opportunity. It's his own doing.
But what if I got what I deserved? What if all of us did? God did not call me to give people love when they deserved it, because I sure as heck do not deserve the love and forgiveness that I freely take everyday, that I live for and breathe and get by on. God didn't call me to let people wallow in their loneliness because, well, they did it to themselves. He called me to be the hope, to sit with the lonely and take away some of that pain. I can't change what I did tonight, but I can surely learn from it. I can use it to see how I'm lacking and to see how I can better mold myself into God's image. And I can pray for my dad, who's sleeping alone tonight.