by Elouise

Wallflower at a dance

Yesterday morning I stepped into D’s office, heard Anne Murray singing, and began weeping. “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life…?” The song kept coming back to me all day—reminding me of what’s really important, and why I’m talking with family members about death. Mine and theirs.

The song linked to an entry in my journal. I made it a few nights ago when I couldn’t get to sleep. I was feeling sorry for myself. Definitely not at peace with the way things are. It was after midnight when I finally stopped writing and went back to bed with Chopin’s Nocturnes playing in the background.

Yesterday I read over the journal entry and wrote the following.

I vacillate between extreme gratitude for time to heal, and crushing sadness about needing to heal in this manner, at this time in my life.

The moment these words are out of my mouth, I want to take them back. As though it weren’t really that bad.

Yet sometimes it feels that bad. Not bad enough to skip eating. Or sleeping. Or enjoying a good laugh with family members and friends. Just ‘that bad.’

I never got to be a wallflower at a prom because I wasn’t allowed to dance or go to dances. Nonetheless, this is what I imagine I might feel like today as a wallflower.

I would smile (or not) and be friendly (or not) while sitting out all the dances because right now I’m relegated to the sidelines. Unable to keep up with the activity on the dance floor. Not feeling appropriately dressed for this occasion, and embarrassed because I don’t feel very chatty and can’t eat anything that isn’t pureed.

My worst fear? Maybe nobody wants to dance with me just as I am.

Last night I asked God if the invitation to come ‘just as I am’ includes the way I am right now. If so, does that mean God wants to dance with me? Or that God is especially fond of wallflowers? Or doesn’t care one whit how slow I am? Or what I’m wearing? Or that my mouth is full of hardware and stained teeth?

I know the answer is Yes! It means all that and more. It means God is already dancing with me just as I am. Now, and for the rest of my life.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 10 June 2016
Photo found at huffingtonpost.com