Thursday, February 14, 2013

You can't always get what you want

Valentines Day is overrated.
For the last nine years, we have spent this day in the hospital or at home with a sick kid.  Whose idea was it to put a romantic holiday in the middle of cold and flu season?  Today no one was physically sick, just grumpy.  And grumpiness is contagious.  Tonight after a dismal attempt at a dinner date, I ended up leaving the restaurant in tears.  The pressure had been building all day, but the back breaking straw was Richard pointing out that he dreads gift giving holidays (which may explain why Thanksgiving and Easter are his favorites.)  Apparently I don't receive gifts well.  I always knew that my sister was more fun to give to because she always gets excited and cries at everything, but I didn't realize that I was impossible to buy for.  At Christmas, after giving me a personal pie maker and seeing my reaction (or lack thereof), my friend commented, "You are hard to impress."  Then tonight Richard tells me how he can never find a gift that "touches my heart."  We've had versions of this conversation before and I always promise myself to act more excited next time.
Try giving me something and watch my reaction.  You will get a forced half-smile and a "thanks so much," before I set it aside.  It's true.  I am no fun to buy for.
The night went downhill from there as we drove home and started talking about the video of our Valentines Day breakfast in 2005.  While filming the kids opening their gifts, you can hear me saying, "Anna is sleeping in because she doesn't feel good this morning.  We'll let her open her gifts later."  It was before we ever heard the word CANCER.  Blissfully ignorant.
As I thought about Anna, I burst out in tears again, "I wonder if I liked presents before she died?"
And then I got it.
That's why I am so "hard to impress."
That's why nothing I get ever "touches my heart."
That's why everything  I get feels like "stuff."
It's because I never get what I really want.
It's because I can't.
Not in this life.
Because what is seen is temporary and I long for the eternal.


Reba said...

Oh, Marlo, I don't even know what to say. Thank you for sharing from your heart. You will one day get what you want, united for eternity. But until then, all I can offer are cyber hugs and prayers.

Liz said...

You know what? I do the same thing. I date things in my life by those milestone dates. I had to go look at Anna's site & realized that Valentine's Day of 2005 was 10 days before her diagnosis. Dang...I hate cancer.