In 2014, my friend Dave died in his house that was just a couple blocks from mine.
I only know about the location of his home from the invoices he’d submit sporadically to the online news magazine where I served as editor and he served as contributor—our most unreliable contributor when it came to deadlines but our most reliable when it came to page views. Whatever Dave wrote, people read—partly because he was the frontman for GWAR. And partly because (I think) everything he wrote was totally over-the-top nuts…and good.
I was Dave’s editor for a couple of years. We emailed and texted weekly, but we never met in person. He was the lead singer of a heavy metal band, and I was a work-from-home mother of a toddler. I read the pieces he’d composed on tour buses crossing Australia during my breaks from folding laundry and (re)reading of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Our lives didn’t exactly line up.
But he was my friend.
In between his apologies for missed deadlines, he would always ask how our son was doing. He’d sign-off on text exchanges with things like:
“Have a good day with the kid, lil mama!”
“I know I put you through a lot of shit! You’re the best! Thanks for putting up with me!”
(He rarely ended a sentence with anything other than an exclamation point.)
But I wasn’t putting up with him. I liked Dave a lot. To me, he was a this big, loud tornado of a person—and I only experienced him over the phone or through the screen of my laptop. I can’t imagine what he would’ve been like in person.
I wish I’d gotten the chance to find out.
Q: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be man?
A: It was requisite that the Mediator should be man, that he might advance our nature, perform obedience to the law, suffer and make intercession for us in our nature, have a fellow feeling of our infirmities; that we might receive the adoption of sons, and have comfort and access with boldness unto the throne of grace.
(Westminster Standards, Larger Catechism #39)
A fellow feeling.
The power of my infirmities has felt unbeatable lately. I keep wondering what life would be like, how things would be different were it not for my mental illness. What would it be like to not live in this fog?
But what a comfort to know that Jesus, the Mediator, knows what to do with me when so many don’t—when I don’t.
What a thing. What a gift. What a God.
May your heart be always full,
My your hair alway be red.
May sleep come to you quickly
When you snuggle into bed.
May your brother show you kindness,
May you give to him the same.
May you both always remember,
To honor your shared name.
May you know God’s love so deeply,
May you know His grace as true.
May you carry this forever:
He made you to be just you.
(With love, Queenie)
I always thought we’d have two or three.
But here we are—and we are all here, I’m sure—three of us, sitting at the dining room table.
Three of us, taking up just a little bit of space in the pew.
Three of us, fitting fairly comfortably in a queen-sized bed to read or tap at screens.
Three of us, eating at Wendy’s for less than $25.
For a while there was a hole in my heart that I thought another baby would fill. Over time, God filled and closed that up with a great big love for and from our growing boy.
But there’s a tiny scar there. It holds whispers of what-ifs, of who-ifs…a delicate etching of a little girl’s face.