I started reading old journal entries from last Fall. There was this one day that was so terrible, so discouraging, I drove home crying. It was late at night. It had been a very long day. I felt like a failure. And, not smart. Hailes was gone, so I just filled up the whole gigantic house with sadness.
I felt like I was letting everyone down. My grandpa surveyed and mapped the arctic and the antarctic. My grandma put on her boots to deliver food in the mud to thousands of people camped out on the national mall during the civil rights protest (when Martin Luther King Jr. said I have a dream). I come from people who contribute. And, that night, when I came home crushed & defeated--I felt like I wasn't ever going to contribute anything of value. It was very dramatic. I know. I feel really lame about it now. But, at the moment, I was really processing a lot of pressure I'd put on myself.
The next morning, I woke up to my phone buzzing. It was my dad calling. I felt better (sleep is so useful for processing total devastation). But, I didn't answer. I didn't feel like I could face him. Even on the phone.
Later in the morning, after I'd showered, after I'd eaten breakfast, I listened to the message he'd left. He told me he was just calling to say he loved me. And, that he wanted to tell me that he knew my grandma was pleased with everything I was doing. That my grandpa was so happy with everything I was doing. That he knew all my grandparents going back generations on both sides of my family loved me and were proud of me.
I called him back and told him thank you. But, I never told him about the night before. When I told God I was failing and I didn't know what to do about it. My father's message was curious & something I will remember for the rest of my life.
Six months later, I can see how his voicemail wasn't just a band-aid you can do it! I knew my grandparents loved me. But, I never imagined God would answer my devastated prayer so quickly with such love and kindness. (If my dad hadn't called, I would have been fine). Death is just a small separation. My grandma died when I was thirteen years old, but she didn't stop being my grandma. She might not be able to make me french toast. We might not be able to have late-night conversations. But, I still belong to her. And, she belongs to me. She's not worried about what I achieve.
The only thing that matters is if I love God and use this love in everything I do.