Day 13: All Things New

For Day 13, I did a potpourri of kindnesses. I bought some donuts for friends and their kids, and also for Tom, but  I ate his before I even pulled out of the parking lot  it got stale and it wouldn't have been safe for him to eat. Or find out about until he reads this. 

In less embarrassing news, I also left dollar bills in the little free libraries that have been popping up around Rochester.  If you haven't seen them, then this would be an awesome #AdamsActs to do!  They are basically a teeny tiny micro-library on a pole.  Think dollhouse-library-lollipop set up in people's yards or at parks or playgrounds. 

 It's such a cool way for people to borrow books or even take a book to keep, and also to donate books that they are done with or have an extra copy of. We love it.  It was a simple and small thing, but I love that it is the opposite of the regular library, where you go to check out a free book and have to pay a fine because  I  Tom checks out too many books  50 to be exact  and  I  he forgets to return them.  He lets stuff like that slide all the time  I tolerate it because I'm in it for the cheese platters.  So this #AdamsActs was fun... get a free book, but also a free dollar! Which is much better than getting no dollars, and a significant improvement on paying dollars.

A few close friends and family members have expressed concern for me in the past two weeks.  The people who know me best have noticed that this year the 31 Days of Kindness (#AdamsActs) seems to be harder for me than the past two years.  There is truth to that, and I wasn't really sure why that was, until today.

I'm going to tell you the truth.

The truth is that I want to do right by you guys.  Each day I want to have a grandiose act of kindness that inspires you all who are participating, and I want it to matter, and I want to share stories about who Adam was, and I want people to understand that his life was worth remembering and honoring.

Doing this for the third year in a row has taken its toll on me, and not for all of the obvious reasons: being busy with five little ones, running my own little business from home, having a limited budget to work with, trying to have the energy to be so emotionally vulnerable, and so publicly, etc. Sure, those things can be challenging.  But, that is not why this year has been so much harder.  Today I realized that I am struggling, because I have used up my Adam stories. You see, I don't have any fresh stories, because I don't get any fresh stories.  Because he is gone.  It makes me so immeasurably sad to write this down, that I will never, ever get new memories with Adam.

And the pressure of trying to share him with you all, when there was so little time with him to begin with, has felt overwhelming to me.

So. I am all done.

No, I'm certainly not done with #AdamsActs.  I will never stop trying to impact this world in meaningful ways as Adam would have, had he been given that opportunity.  I will never stop trying to keep his memory alive.  I will never shut up about this Jesus, who became my leader and my forgiver, because of a conversation I had with Adam in a maroon Pontiac 6000 when I was just a little girl.  I will never forget how my faith in that God got really real, really fast when those concepts, heaven and eternity, were no longer some "off in the distance" kind of notion... but was my 17 year old brother's new reality.

So no.  I am not done with all this. But (and I have to say this only for my own sake), I am all done with the pressure I am putting on myself for each day to be something new.  A man with a gun robbed my family of the luxury of new. What I have of my brother are the old, (and the cherished) memories.  There are few of them, and they are sacred and precious and I will share them because I think his life mattered, and it was too short, and as with any valuable and limited resource... we have to preserve it, and pool it together to see it's true beauty.

So, that's that. I am going to repeat myself guys.  Forever and ever Amen.  And I am going to be fine with that, because I don't want death to win.  I want his life to win, and in order for that to happen, I am gonna have to get repetitive up in here.  If I don't get new memories with Adam, then I am going to make memories that he would be proud of.  If my husband and children can't know him, then they will know his legacy.  If I cannot call him up and invite him over for dinner, then I will share my dinner someone who doesn't have one.  If I cannot see his face, or remember his voice, or watch him run just one more time... then I will spend my Octobers, and hopefully all the months of all my years here being a friendly face, using my voice to speak the truth in love, and I will run until I cross the finish line and finally get to meet my brother and my Jesus, and they will welcome me to a place where, in fact, I will get my new.  

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'" Revelation 21:4-5