Sundays have always been a nucleus for our family.
Barring illness or vacation, there is no question of where we will be on Sunday morning. There is not a decision to make on a week-by-week basis: to go to church, or not to go?
We go. We're there. Settled.
But it wasn't just about church; Sunday was our day of rest. We served together. We were a team.
Breakfast was fun: usually cinnamon rolls. Sometimes donuts.
Robb got the boys dressed and ready, allowing me peace in the bathroom without little hands and questions.
We have a strong community in our church family. Our spirits rested with them.
After church, we usually ate pizza at Big Bill's, followed by naps all around. And I do mean Naps All Around.
We finished the day with dinner at my parents' house: my mom's great cooking, a table of inviting conversation, and the tradition of togetherness every Sunday night. Usually topped off with a competitive episode of The Amazing Race, when in season.
And then Robb died.... and I couldn't do Sundays.
Friends took my sons to church, as I wanted my boys to keep the routine and the value. But I couldn't join them. I tried: three times, unsuccessfully. Panic struck each time, moments after my arrival. Each time, friends escorted me to my car, drove me home, and helped me to bed before I collapsed. Afternoons were not restful; they were recovery.
I couldn't do it.
I remember thinking: it is the weight of a million Sundays that will be the end of me.
Well, my friends, today was a new day.
Peanut Butter Captain Crunch for breakfast. Little boys in khaki shirts and striped polos. Tyler all over my makeup drawer as I prepared for the morning. Arguments over toothpaste and flip flops.
But we made it out the door. And they sang on the way to church. The VBS sound track is a gift to my spirit as my children sing lyrics like,
"I am not forgotten, God knows my name..."
"God is watching, watching over you..."
"I have a Maker, he formed my heart..."
"Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art."
Our reception was warm and sweet; our church family spills with the joy of being known.
Children who are in kindergarten sit with their parents for the music portion of the service, so Tuck and I were a pair. He listened carefully, sang along, held my hand, and was my delight.
And although I still didn't last the entire worship service, I made it longer than ever before.
It was good, victorious, strong, and successful.
And I remember thinking: it is the gift of a million Sundays that will be the breath of me.
"But it was the singing that pulled me in and split me wide open." — Anne Lamott