While I was in Pennsylvania with my daughter and her darling husband last month, we were hanging out and watching TV on my last night there. The show "Hoarders" on A&E began, and we were transfixed. Totally unable to look away from the train wreck of homes with trash filling every room of a house, stopped only by the confines of walls and ceilings. At one point, Katy and Joseph got off in a side conversation and tuned out a little. Not me: the lady being featured said these words, "I have not emptied my garbage in a year." And being totally amazed , I repeated her words out loud, "I have not emptied my garbage in a year."
There was a violent wind in the room as the newlyweds whipped their heads around toward me and Joseph said (kind of loudly for such a mild-mannered young man), "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" And the look in his eyes? Priceless. He was totally and completely concerned with my life and mental health in that moment. I explained, gently I hope, that I was only quoting the "hoarder" on the screen. But I was touched by the immediate level of concern they had for me, and my far away homelife in Texas.
I was reminded of this concern this weekend when a sweet friend dropped by with a gift on Saturday morning. I was showing her my tarp covered rooms, as all walls and ceilings are being repainted. Actually, the house resembles the hoarder's, but the tarps give it a fair sense of order. When we came to my bedroom, my friend saw the stacks of clothes completely covering my bed. They would soon be dropped off at Goodwill, but there was no way she would have known that. "WHERE DO YOU SLEEP?" she asked in a voice that was so full of concern I wanted to hug her to make her feel better. I assured her the clothes had only been added to the bed that morning, and all this clutter was temporary.
So, dear friends, if you are concerned about my sanity during this walk through grief, I want you to know I appreciate it. But I do empty my trash. And I use a comforter on my bed to stay warm. Not piles of clothes.
But I am blessed that you care.