Heart Broken

My friend Melissa has a little boy, not quite two, who learned early on to say the word “heartbroken.” It was cute, obviously, listening to a small person say words he couldn’t possibly understand. Almost like watching him walk with a full glass of water, liquid spilling over the brim. A child that small cannot possibly carry the entire meaning of the word, but is sure was sweet to watch him try.

I don’t think I understood the word much until today. A day after we spent the night weighing the risks of two serious and life-threatening options. A day where my financial future seems bleak. A day where everything feels so incredibly stacked against us. I suddenly realize I could lose everything. And I mean everything

My feet kind of can’t touch the ground. I’m floating. I’m falling. Part of me is trying to turn it off and not feel it. That’s the strongest pull, the fiercest current. The smaller, wiser part of me is insisting I go into it, lay out the fears and the sadness and see them like light through a prism- broken, disrupted, but beautiful. I almost want the pain to be tangible, something I can put my hands on and feel and grieve over. I want something that pulls the suffering down from the ether and into the real world so maybe I could wrestle it down and do something, anything, to take it back and calm it into submission. But instead it floats everywhere around me and creeps into my every cell. My body physically hurts and my heart aches with the thoughts of the things I might lose and the ways this is going to hurt. 

And at the core of it all, I worry I’ve let my family down. I’ve promised to keep them safe, to give them what they need. For the past several months I’ve been stumbling with that, unavailable in time and energy to truly be with them. And now I might fall completely flat. I might not survive. I might be a financial failure. It’s a spectacular, unintentional, disaster. 

But maybe that’s the point. Maybe I’m not done being broken down. Suffering can feel so punitive and awful and unnecessary. It is suffocating and exhausting. But it isn’t pointless. Perhaps if I can make the suffering purposeful, I can survive it. If I can come to understand that my purpose is to learn and teach from the suffering and the pain, to expand my empathy and sharpen my ability to connect- I can live with that. And in that is a tiny sliver of hope and another small push to keep going. 

So here I am, with a broken heart and heartbroken. I don’t know what the point of all this suffering is yet. I don’t know what there is to gain. But I know I can live without the house and the car and the job and the titles if I have my people. And maybe that’s where I’m headed. Maybe once I’ve scooped the very bottom of the barrel I will be able to rebuild anew. I can’t control this crazy cart anyway, so I may as well let it take me where it’s going and pull down whatever purpose and beauty I can while I’m given the chance.

So thank you once again for being my family, for joining me here and for lifting me up. I so love it when you share my message. It helps me each time I bump into another soul who is floating, falling, and a little bit heartbroken. It connects us, like two sky divers grasping at arms while plummeting from the sky. It feels safer when we’re connected, holding on for dear life as we descend. It strengthens my purpose and keeps the door open on that hope.

Give ‘Em Hell.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Met you at Cedar Point and saw myself 10 years ago. My daughter grabbed my hand as we were getting on the train, nodded towards where you were standing and gave me a slight smile. No words even needed to be exchanged. I felt strength between my daughter and I because we were where you are and fought the fight together. Believe in family and gain strength through them. My 3 daughters got me through a very rough time of my life. The thing that I cannot stress enough to those I know and love is how you MUST love life and enjoy each other every single day. Life is so short. You have been in my thoughts since I met you. I left the gift shop and found myself walking and praying for you knowing that it wasn’t about just me but maybe my prayers could help someone else be strong. I caught myself smiling because I knew I had conquered a huge fight, one I have tried to forget about until I met you and was able to talk about it without crying. Why people come into others lives, I don’t know….but I am glad you came into mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad to have met you, too. I read your words and I envision my life the way you have described yours. I’m always worried I’m making mistakes trying to parent through this disaster, but your words give me hope. Thank you taking the time to stop me that day and write to me today. It means so much to me. Big hug to you and your girls!

      Like

  2. Linda Trego says:

    Hang in there, Katie. I’m praying for peace and joy for you and better days ahead. I know the scariness of cancer, and the ups and downs that we can feel from day to day. You’re going through a lot. Hang in there. Many people are caring about you and rooting for you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lorraine says:

    Sometimes we are put in a place where we do lose everything…cars, houses, all replaceable. When we are stripped of the materials things we rise from the ashes, stronger, more focused and understand the purpose of our life. I have lost greatly. But I now know my purpose. It took almost 55 years but I can truly say losing all material things was a blessing.
    Trust…is the key.
    Love ya 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Donna Paschal says:

    Dear Katie…we have never met. My niece Cherie Minnick has been sharing your blog and I just wanted to tell you that I am praying for you. I have lived 79 years upon this earth….with many trials to endure…but this I know….hope is the most potent medicine ever given to mankind. Hope is a gift. It is yours for the taking. Make hope your dwelling place, Katie. Face each day’s sorrows…and then at the end of the day, return to your dwelling place of hope. There you will be filled with strength for another day. Before you know it, you too will have grown old and you can offer the same gift to a hurting heart….hope. Cherie’s aunt Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Linda hudak says:

    You are in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

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