Move over, Alexander.
In fact, you need to move way down to the other end of the bench.
In the next state.
There is no room for you here.
All this space is mine.
Yesterday I claimed it for a very long time.
I wasn’t trying to rhyme, but I am good.
And yet, I digress.
You do know Alexander, don’t you? I bet you have worn his name a time or two. Or maybe three or four.
Somedays, I think I own the title, rights, and everything else pertaining to Alexander.
Dear old Alexander…
He is actually a fictional character created by Judith Viorst in her amazing little book entitled Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This story is from a child’s perspective which is kind of on the mark since he is a child. If you haven’t read this book, you are missing a treat
Yesterday, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
It has extended itself in one particular way into this day.
When I was young, I loved reading Westerns. I liked the Westerns where the good guys were fighting off the bad guys–including the additional storyline of a band of blood thirsty Apache Indians. Yes, I was a Louis L’Amour fan.
Today, I am officially afraid of being scalped.
And by scalped, I do not mean a bad haircut.
Yesterday morning started out ok. I was able to register Casey for a fall soccer league. In fact, the best and brightest part of the day was seeing his face light up with unabashed joy over a new pair of soccer cleats, shinguards, and a ball. We start practice tonight.
At any rate, after the online registration and and getting Casey on the bus, I began looking for my soccer coaching stash from years gone by. At one time or another, I coached all the other boys in soccer.
My search took me to the dreaded basement. The basement. The basement where Cole’s treasures are stored. And against my better judgment I opened those footlockers… and the tears began. They turned into a screaming match with God, only He didn’t scream back. My heart hurt most of the day. Everything was colored by pain. Even though my life is so much better than it could be… Even though my life is amazingly full and happy… The thought of all the ensuing years to come before I see my son again is daunting to say the least.
For the rest of the day I tried to function and live in the moment. I guess for the most part I did.
But it felt an awful lot like I was under water.
And hard to breath.
Thus went the day.
By evening, my equilibrium was better.
My outlook on life was much improved.
And Alexander? I was just about ready to cede back to him complete ownership of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
At least up until the moment I got scalped.
Did I say scalped?
Why yes, yes I did.
Not by a tomahawk.
But scalped nonetheless.
I was going up the spiral staircase to tuck Casey in for the night when I had the bright idea of tossing some clothes from the stairs to a basket below. In a moment completely bereft of any common sense, I leaned over the stair case to do so… and right into the spinning blades of a ceiling fan spinning on the highest speed.
Did you know head wounds bleed profusely?
Did you know gashes in the skull are painful?
Kids, don’t try this from home, take it from me instead.
Yes, a bad day got worse.
My head hurt then and it still hurts now.
But that pain will pass.
That wound will heal.
And I will eventually forget about how stupid I feel.
But my heart?
That pain will not completely go away until it is my turn to step across the great divide.
Until that day comes…
Blessings to you and yours,
Les Ferguson, Jr.