I can pitch a fit. I don't often do it, because I am a champion at backing quickly away from situations that will make me mad. I don't like being angry, and I just tend to avoid volatile situations, volatile people. I figure that I've got an awful lot to be grateful for, so I try to keep my focus there, and generally, I do a decent job of that.
I was sad about Kathy. Cancer robbed her, you know. She had just retired; she was going to do things, and travel and spend time with her children and grandchildren. That didn't happen. She loved to talk. And listen. The surgery damaged her speech center, and robbed her of her words. You just hope against hope that there will be a miracle...and then there is not one. So, I was shocked, and upset, and sad, and...well...I was mad. No other word for it. I was mad.
I went to my last literature class. I came home. I went down to the new house and I scrubbed like crazy, and I was mad at God. It's a good combination, cleaning and being mad. I get a lot accomplished when I'm mad. As I wore myself out, I began to feel better, and the radio played a song:
It started then. I cried, and I cried, and I cried. I sat right down in the middle of the room, and I cried for my friend. I know that she is in better hands now. I understand that I'm not in charge of the universe. That's Somebody Else's job. So, in the end, I came to the same conclusion that I've been coming to for the past 30+ years: I have to trust that He knows what He's doing.
I got up and scrubbed some more, but it was different. I wasn't mad anymore. Still sad. An Amish buggy clip-clopped down the brick street in front of the house. I wondered how many times the house had beheld that sight...it's a hundred years old. And then I wondered how many times it had surrounded a person while she cried. And what happens to laughter? Are there a hundred years of laughter held in the sturdy walls? The neat thing about old houses is that you can bet that babies were born in those rooms. You can bet that people died there too. It's stood fast in countless storms. I began to feel that this house was very wise, standing in silent witness to all these things, all these occasions.
Maybe it will happen to me, too. I smiled a little to think of it.
When I moved from the room that I'd just cleaned to the next room, I dragged the ladder to the adjoining room. I picked up all the cleaning supplies. I gave the room one final sweeping, and then I shut the door behind me. I had my back turned to the door and was reaching in the bucket for my rag to start cleaning when suddenly, there was a very loud thump on the door behind me, the door I just closed. It scared the mess right out of me. I stood looking at the door, shocked. There was no other noise. I slowly opened the door. The room was completely empty, just as I'd expected it to be. Just as I'd left it, just moments before.
I'm a rational person. I don't know what that noise was, but I figured that the house couldn't possibly be mad at me. I'm doing a heck of a nice cleaning job. So I closed the door once again, and I went back to work.