Monday, June 18, 2012


strange (adj): 1. unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand.

In the ever present stream-of-consciousness conversation that happens in the depths of my mind, the word "strange" has popped up quite a bit lately.  As I was walking through Wal-Mart Saturday afternoon I realized this fact and let my thoughts wander to all the strange things that have been happening lately.  Then, I felt the need to write.

For starters, I was a "single" woman over the weekend - no husband, no child - and could not shake how odd it felt.  With both boys off on their own weekend adventures, I had every square foot of the house to myself and had no idea what to do about it.  I slept nine solid hours on Friday night, without the slightest interruption from Jeramie's snores or Ethan's middle-of-the-night bed stealing, and had no one expecting breakfast when they woke up in morning.  I took my time running errands and going to the gym (more on that in a minute), only keeping in mind my "schedule" for the day.  For 48 hours I was just Joye, doing what I wanted and when I wanted to do it.  It was bizarre and refreshing and strangely familiar, but I'm very thankful to have these two home safe and sound.

Thankful for laughter.

So, onto the gym thing.  Sometime last week I decided I was done with the jelly-belly.  Gaining weight, along with the public knowledge that we're trying for #2 (now it's officially public), is not a great combination.  I've gotten more questioning glances lately than I want to admit and if I was brave enough to wear a shirt that screams, "I'M NOT PREGNANT!" I would.  I've struggled with my weight since I was in elementary school but, in spite of that, have felt surprisingly healthy during certain phases of my life.  My goal is not to be a size 4, but to look and feel healthy.  I've worked out four times in the past week and if that's not the definition of strange, I don't know what is! But, here's the thing.  I already feel better and I've lost a couple pounds in the process.  And, I'm kind of in love Zumba (and the jacuzzi treat afterwards).

By far the strangest (read: hardest to understand) thing lately is Michael's "presence" over the past week.  Don't worry, I'm not going to go all reincarnation on y'all, but every few months I find myself really struggling with his death.  Last week, after dropping Ethan off with my parents, I stopped by his grave site.  I hadn't been there in a while and I found myself making the same silly, desperate plea to God, "Just give me a sign that he's OK."  I don't know what I expect that to look like, but the hardest thing for me to accept about Michael's death is that I have no idea where he stood with Christ.  So, I've begged God to shed some light on that for me.  I don't know if I'll ever get an answer, but it always seems that after I've hit the bottom of the sadness barrel I'm given glimpses of him - his twin in a bar last Saturday night, with the same smile and eyes; his cologne on nearly every man in Wal-Mart Saturday afternoon.  Those things still evoke sadness from my core but, almost two years later, I can smile about him every now and then and remember the profound effect he had on my life.

Thankful for Michael.

Is that strange enough for a Monday morning?

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