On passing the baton & being a wreck

It’s that time of the year. It comes every spring, between spring break and finals, after I’ve been procrastinating for way too long and before I admit that I’m a mess.


All of the sudden my world takes on a very pre-thunderstorm look – dark clouds gathering in the sky, waiting for the storm. And it can be anything, literally anything that puts me over the edge. One year it was a song on the radio. One year it was a hug. This year, it was a letter.


I’m currently performing as a Disciple in Godspell with Spotlight Youth Theater, and a fellow disciple came up with the idea of writing a letter to all the kids in the cast to encourage them and talk about what being a disciple actually is. All you have to mention is Writing and Letters and Love and I go weak in the knees, so I was hooked. I wrote four letters, but it was that third letter that wrecked me.


She’s nine years old, with straight brown hair and an enormous grin. Her giggle is one of the sweetest things in the world, and when Thea suggested the idea I knew I had to write to her.


And that was my downfall.


As I wrote her letter, I realized that most of her shows will happen after I’m gone, that her story with Spotlight is just beginning while mine is on its last pages. And I wanted to hug her really tight, kiss her forehead, slip the Baton in her pocket when she wasn’t looking with the words this is your place now and Dear, it’ll be exactly what you make of it. Because Spotlight is a place where you reap what you sow.

And I sobbed. I sobbed for the empty spot where the baton used to sit, the kids that I will never know and the names I will forget, the incredible people leaving with me that those kids will never know. I had hardly even admitted that I was sad until that moment, and the sadness shellshocked me. And then I cried like a baby for everything, how overwhelmed I am, how it seems like I’m failing at everything. I wanted to go out with a bang and this feels more like crawling on my hands and knees towards the finish line.


I cried for three days. Then today I woke up and cried some more. And then Katrina called me, and after I cried a little more, I was okay. I got out of my car and went to work and put my life energy into sorting files and answering phone calls, and those four hours were like therapy for my brain.


And now? I’m okay. I’m gonna be just fine. I’m always going to be a little bit of a wreck (better add that to my Wife resumé), but I’m okay with that. It’s okay to be a wreck sometimes. Those moments give our people an opportunity to love us, and goodness knows we need that.


Be a wreck for me sometime, won’t you? Call your Katrina at 2am and cry for a bit. Fix yourself some tea and make a list of people you love. Let yourself be broken so you can get stitched back together. You’re never gonna feel whole until you admit what is hollow.


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