“I’m so proud of you.”
“You are an inspiration.”
(I can only hope.)
“You are so strong.”
(I try to be.)
“I couldn’t do what you do.”
(You, too, will do what you have to if you ever find yourself in my position.)
“I admire you so much.”
(I appreciate that.)
“He would be pleased you are doing so well.”
(Most likely but he would not be surprised.)
I am a master at appearances.
He knew that.
On the outside…
I appear strong and proud and independent.
I look like I can do all things alone.
I am inspirational and encouraging and have faith that knows no bounds.
I get things done and deal with the daily irritants of life with mostly quiet assurance and strength.
I handle well the grief that everyone expects to overrun me.
But, I am dishonest. In truth, I am…
Despondent to live without my best friend.
Heartbroken. I miss his face, his smile, his huge presence, his hands….
Lonely for the man who knew the real me and loved me anyway.
Mad that God took away my heart, my blessing, my one earthly anchor.
Forlorn for the past. I miss the days when we spent the evenings and weekends with our children laughing, playing games, going on trips, eating at the dinner table, telling about the “highlight” and “lowlight” of our days, bedtime rituals and enjoying just being together.
Broken. I want my whole family back and within easy reach of a hug and a kiss.
Scared that I can’t get it all done and be all I should be for my kids and grandkids.
Today, the mask slipped. Fissures appeared and tears silently flowed.
Tomorrow, the mask will be firmly back in place.
Inspiration, courage, encouragement and faith will be free and abundant.
All else remains stashed behind the mask.