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  • Becky Adams

Sometimes You Gotta Regroup (Part 1)

Oops, I didn’t mean to disappear for so long. Sometimes these things happen. You get busy and time speeds up, the days flash by. Or you move more slowly than usual—but time continues at the same old pace.

Once in a while I get caught in a weird time warp. I sit down at my desk and it’s June. I take a little break, just for a few minutes, and when I sit back down again, it’s almost August! In the words of my dear son, “Wait, what?”

Matt used to say that a lot, and I used to think, was he listening to anything I just said?? Well, yeah—but no---he was in a little time warp. I started talking and had his rapt attention. At some point in the middle, the listening parts of his brain took a little break. And wham! The end of the conversation completely snuck up on him. His brain was still basking somewhere in the middle.

That’s what happened to me. I was lounging on the beach at the end of June, and my brain forgot to come home with me after vacation was over. I thought I had paused for a few days—turns out it was a few weeks.

Some of the gap was time & effort spent working at my job—the one they pay me to do. This often gets in the way of the work I WANT to do. Sometimes after you work all day, the last thing you want to do is work all evening, too. (As every working parent out there knows.)

In the beginning of July, two families that I don’t know lost teenage children to a car accident. I knew the friend of one of the kids, and that was close enough for me. When something like that happens, even if it doesn’t happen to you, it affects you. Was there a tangible connection to the tragedy? No. An emotional connection? Yes.

After you’ve lost a child, you can’t help but be profoundly affected by the death of someone else’s child. You have empathy for those parents; what they’re going through; how they must feel. That empathy causes your emotions about your own child’s death to come rushing back. It can require a pause.

So, I hit the “pause button.” I took a little break. I gave myself the chance to regroup. It’s kind of like when you get a blister from a pair of sandals, and you don’t wear them for a while. Or you pull a muscle in your back, so you don’t lift heavy things for a while. Basic maintenance.

While I was regrouping, Bereaved Parents Awareness Month happened. It’s almost over; only one week left. I wrote a prayer for grieving parents about a month ago, so I’m posting that on my Facebook page. It popped into my head one day, so I wrote it down; I made some little cards out of it and gave them to my aunt. She’s a nun, and she hasn’t contacted me to complain, so I’m reasonably certain it’s not blasphemous. But if there’s a certain requirement for prayers, I don’t know if I’ve met it, so keep that in mind if you read it.

Regrouping also included a plan for new writing projects. That’s why this blog is Part One; Part Two will be posted later tonight. My non-fiction book is about to be finished and released, I’m three chapters into a new work of fiction, and HEY! Another idea occurred to me. That’s what you can read about in Part Two.

Sometimes my brain starts exploding with random ideas like fireworks—different colors, uncoordinated detonations, often obscured by a haze of smoke…. Enjoy the show.

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