Thursday, February 7, 2019

All About Me

I'm an educator.  One of the best part of being an educator is getting to know the students.  What is implied is that the students get to know me.  In order for people to know you, you should have an idea of what kind of package you're selling.  I make no excuses for my life.  I'm a hot mess.  You would think that I have some things figured out but the reality is that the more I find out, the more I realize how much I need Jesus.  The more I find out, the more I need to dig deeper.  I love learning.  I am an advocate for education.  I believe in the power of knowledge and that knowledge is power.  I guess you can say that I am a lifelong learner and I'm okay with not knowing things sometimes.

I'm a woman.  I'm Latina.  I have lived most of my life in New York City and I now reside in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.  I have two beautiful children.  I speak two languages well and I am learning French.  My favorite color is pink.  I love glitter.  I'm messy.  My MBTI is INTJ. I like my personality type.  I like who I am.  I love to read and my favorite thing to read is junk.  Why?  Because I use reading as an escape mechanism, I read things that will help me alleviate my thinking as I think pretty hard during my normal working hours.  I like magical realism (Alice Hoffman) and Young Adult Fiction.  Best of all, I'm a Christian.

All of this monologue has to do with identity.  You see, the reason that I have had a hard year has to do with the loss of my husband.  I am currently a widow.  A WIDOW- this word is very heavy.  I didn't realize that it comes with implications.  I'll give you an example.  A friend of mine was having a birthday celebration.  He invited a few of us from work to hang out with some friends of his that were visiting.  At some point in the celebration, one of his friends had the forethought to say, "Who's single and who's married?"  This led me to think about my own personal marital status.  What was I? Not too long ago, I was married.  I had been with my husband for 24 years.  We met in 1994 and now...  The guy had gone around and he was looking at me for an answer and I didn't really have one.  Was I married?  Well, I was... married but now... Was I single?  Well, I am single.  I said, "I guess I'm single."  This is why you need to process language.  His response was not unkind. "You guess?"  By way of explanation I told him, "I'm a widow."  What did I do?  "Oh my God!  I'm so sorry for your loss!"  Someone else who had overheard the whole thing was like, "You're a widow!  I'm so sorry!"  What had I done?  In just a moment, I brought the party down with my answer.  I'm not sure what to think of widows now but before I was a widow I thought of them as sad.  You are a surviving part of what was once something.  Widowhood is different than being divorced.  I have had this discussion with a few people.  There is something honorable about widows and widowers.  We are the ones that stayed.  We have kept our vows.  Call us Covenant Keepers.  We stayed till the end, till death did us part.  So despite all of the things that I am and that I was, I need to add "widow" to my identity CV.

So how am I handling it?  Well, I'm using a blog to help me process through the magic of words how I feel.  It's been 11 months since everything has happened.  In one month, the day after my son's 13th birthday, it will have been a year.  There has been pain.  Raw, seeping pain that has leaked out of me through a thousand tears.  A smell, a character in a movie, a mention of a location, a thought has sent me reeling into a dark cavern filled with sharp pain of memory.  I have had to put my hand over my chest and hold on in the hopes that the pain passes quickly.  Who do you call at 3 o'clock in the morning?  How can you tell someone that your soul hurts?  I have recently started talking about it with some Bible study friends.  A friend told me that I may have had a wall up.  No, not a wall- I explained.  I told her that I was a broken thing held together with used pieces of tape.  Pull one off and I would have to be reset.  I am being glued together and I'm waiting for it to set.  Another friend said that we are put together with gold so that what was broken is more valuable having been fixed.  I like this idea.

The other thing is that I'm leaning upon God and His promises.  I am clinging to the Rock of my salvation with my fingertips bleeding.  I am held in the embrace of a Father.  I don't need to be rescued because even in my fallen, messy state, I have been saved by my Savior.  For this reason I can say that I am blessed beyond all measure.  A Facebook post that I put up states, "How am I?  Blessed.  The answer will forever be Blessed."  I stand by that affirmation.

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