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the west wing

May 14, 2009

God. such a full-on loaded subject! i’ve come to realize — after many years, many discussions with our family’s pastor, and years of living — that i do believe in God. my realization hasn’t changed how i live my life nor how i behave. i’m still the same lady with a quick temper and a bit of a sailor’s mouth. i still have a very good heart, and i still tend to take care of others before doing the same for myself. i still adore my family and i’m so in love with the mr. it sometimes makes me cry.

i’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination. the last time i attended church with any frequency was in 1998, the same year 5 members of my family died and i attended all 6 of their funerals (baby brother was in the military when he was killed, so we had both civilian and military funerals for him). Nineteen ninety-eight changed my world; i was lost, broken, hurt, and savaged by the memories of 5 family members whom i would never see again. i couldn’t see, literally and figuratively; how would i survive this year with my soul intact?

towards the end of 1998, i made another trip home to southern indiana. by this time, i had buried my 5 family members, and i had sought out the help and guidance of a psychiatrist. i was that desperate, and i needed help. when i went home, i made an appointment to visit our pastor and i spent several hours with him. i’ve always admired this man of God, and he has always been there for me. when he saw me, several months after he eulogized my baby brother, he immediately took me in his arms and hugged me. (he also gave me a look which i interpreted as “you look like shit, baby girl.”) he didn’t let go for 30 minutes. he just held me and i knew in that instant i could let everything go. the pain, the anger, the wondering why, times 5, so many of my loved one’s had died that year.

through oceans of tears, and acres of tissues, i talked with my pastor about the events of the year. why had God hurt me so? had i been so bad and He was punishing me? were all of these evil thoughts floating around in my brain, including the one’s where i wanted to kill my brother’s killer in public, ever going away? my pastor told me a lot on that day, and i began to feel at peace. i asked him to pray for me and my family, and the words he chose floored me. i knew i would be okay.

i still don’t have all the answers for my 1998, but i know i’ll get them when i meet my Maker. He’s got a lot of explaining to do!

i want to wrap up this post with one of my favorite scenes from the west wing. mrs. landingham has died and the president asks his chief of staff to have the secret service seal the national cathedral. what comes next uniquely quantifies what i was feeling in 1998, especially the “you’re a son of a bitch” part. with my pastor’s help, i knew it was OK for me to be pissed off at God. when i’m feeling off course or reminiscing too much about that year, i watch this video and i remember the words of my pastor.

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