Monthly Archives: October 2018

I’m Still Waiting on My Waffle!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018; 7:30 PM

Following is an account of actual events. Seriously, I cannot make this up.

Setting:  Waffle House Navarre; the evening before Hurricane Michael will make landfall.

Characters: Melissa, Jennifer, Jeremy, Connor, Abby Grace, Tyler, Waffle House waitress

Jennifer: How about Waffle House?  They are always open

Everyone: Yes!  We love Waffle House!

(enters WH, finds two tables)

Waitress:  What can I get for y’all?

Jeremy: I’d like water.

Jennifer: I’ll have water and a sprite for him (motions to Tyler).

Melissa: I need a Diet Coke.

(waitress takes kids’ drink orders; comes back with drinks)

Waitress:  Y’all ready to order?

Jennifer:  I’ll the all-star.  scrambled…

Jeremy:  triple hash browns covered, chunked, smothered…

Melissa:  I’ll take the – (waitress interrupts)

Waitress:  Oh an order just popped up.  I need to go get that.  Is that ok?  I’ll be right back.

Melissa: (confused) Um, ok… (waitress walks away)

(several minutes later)

Jennifer: There’s our waitress.  What is she doing?  She is taking their orders!

Jeremy & Melissa: (laughing) What?

Jennifer: (flagging down waitress) We need to finish ordering.  She hasn’t ordered (pointing to Melissa) and my kids haven’t ordered yet, either.

Waitress: Oh, sorry.  What can I get you?

Melissa: I’ll have…bacon,  eggs over medium.

(waitress takes kids’ orders).

(A few minutes later, waitress comes back with part of Jennifer’s and Melissa’s order and Jeremy’s order, which is prepared incorrectly)

Jeremy: Oh this is supposed to be smothered.

Jennifer:  And we still need our waffles.

Waitress:  Oh, sorry. I’ll get this fixed (takes Jeremy’s food), and I’ll bring the waffles.

(waitress returns)

Waitress:  Here you go, sir.  And your waffle. (handing Jeremy his plate, and Jennifer her waffle.)

Jennifer:  Thank you. She still needs her waffle, and the kids need their food.

(tick tock…a while later, waitress brings Connor his food, minus his bacon).

Melissa:  And I’m still waiting for my waffle.

Waitress:  Oh, sorry. I’ll get it.

(roughly 30 minutes after the first plates were brought)

Abby Grace:  I still don’t have any food.

Jennifer: You haven’t gotten any of your food yet?!? (flags down waitress, points to Abby Grace)  She hasn’t gotten any of her food yet, and he is still waiting on bacon.

Melissa: And can I get my waffle?

Waitress: Oh, sorry. (to Abby Grace) What did you order?

Abby Grace: Biscuits and gravy, and hash browns.

Waitress: I’ll be right back with that.

(A few minutes later waitress brings Abby Grace’s food)

Jennifer:  He still needs his bacon, and she still needs her waffle.

Melissa:  I could use a refill on my drink, but I’m not about to ask for that! (everyone laughs)

(more time goes by)

Melissa: (calls waitress over) I still haven’t gotten my waffle.

Waitress: What is happening is that we are having trouble with our waffle iron.

Melissa:  uh huh

(just a few minutes later)

Melissa: Look!  That other waitress just came out of the kitchen carrying 5 plates of WAFFLES!! (laughter erupts.  At this point, no one can stop laughing).

Melissa:  Excuse me, ma’am?  He (Connor) is still waiting on bacon, and I never got my waffle.

Waitress: Oh sorry.  I’ll get it right now. We are just so busy, and one of our waitresses didn’t show up.

(laughter continues, customers begin to murmur in disbelief)

(more waiting)

Jennifer: Ma’am?  We’ve been here for a long time, and we’ve basically had to ask for each part of our meals separately.  It’s as if we have just been forgotten over here.  We are still waiting on a waffle and bacon.

Waitress: Oh sorry, I’ll get it.

Jeremy: (catches attention of man waiting for a table) RUN!  Don’t stay! (the man whispers to his wife. The family leaves.) (more laughter)

Melissa: Our waitress is coming out of the kitchen with two plates of waffles…that she is taking TO ANOTHER TABLE!!!!  You have got to be kidding!

(Melissa, Jennifer and Jeremy are hysterically laughing by now)

(Jeremy goes to register to pay bill, laments with fellow patron who has been waiting on a glass of water, listens as new waitress vents about being called back in because the other waitress is so horrible)

Melissa: (jumps up quickly, walks to register) Ma’am, I have asked for my waffle more times that I can count.  Can someone please get me a waffle in a to-go box?

New waitress: Yes absolutely.  I’m so sorry.

(two minutes later, Melissa receives her waffle, everyone leaves restaurant)

(Connor never gets his bacon.)

Welcome Home

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I open my eyes and become instantly aware of the sweet fragrance that fills the air.  It is the most delicious combination of scents.  Honeysuckle and a new baby, fresh from the bath.  I inhale deeply and allow my senses to fully absorb the wondrous aroma. It’s then that I realize how comfortable and relaxed my body feels.  The temperature is perfect.  Not too warm, not too cold – as if it were designed especially for my liking.  And my feet – they don’t hurt.  Nor does my back.  The ground isn’t hard.  It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced – like walking on pillows.

I feel so at home here, like I’ve always been here.  It’s familiar, yet new.  I walk toward the most enchanting sounds of music that have ever fallen upon my ears.  Music. Yes, I am most certainly home.  As I get closer, I hear joyous laughter and notice the smells changing.  Freshly baked bread, warm cookies, and something savory.  I come upon the expansive feast, ornate in gold, sparkling with magnificence.  There are thousands upon thousands of people celebrating together, as a family would. In unison, every head turns toward me and beckons me to join them.  They have a seat reserved specifically for me.  How did they know I would be here?  As I walk to my seat, I realize I know some of these people.  My sister.  My nephew.  Grandparents. Friends.  I know where I am.  I have crossed over and earned my reward.  For a moment I stop breathing.  After holding babies for the first time, and relishing sweet reunions, I take my seat.  The food. It melts in perfection in my mouth.

The meal is complete, and I am lead down a road that emits a glowing light. I realize at that moment that everything is bright.  Not bright so that it hurts my eyes, but a soft brightness that is appealing to my sight. I look around me and see every shade of white and gold imaginable, and beyond.  The colors – I’ve never taken in such beauty.  Everything has the same glow as the road, like a halo.  My attention refocuses on where we are going, and I realize we are going to my home.  The mansion that has been prepared for me sits at the top of a hill with the promise of a view I will enjoy for eternity.  I cannot wait to open the door and see what’s on the inside.  In my forever home.  When the door opens, I am not prepared for what I see.

There He is.

Waiting to welcome me home.

I am frozen.  Paralyzed. This is the moment I have dreamed of. Here it is, and I don’t know what to do. I begin to run.  Without inhibition, I run toward Him.  His arms are open wide, ready to embrace me.  His smile is wide, warm, genuine, full of love. When I get to Him I fall into His grasp. His strong arms wrap tightly around me, and I’ve never felt so safe, loved.  I feel His love radiate through my being.  Tears of immense joy spill from my eyes, and stream down my cheeks. He touches my face, and gently wipes the salty water with His hand.  I grab His hand, and I see it.  The scar. I take His other hand and find its match.  I feel the place where the nails drove into His flesh.  He takes my hands into His, looks adoringly into my glistening eyes, and says, “For you.”  He smiles, and says, “Let’s go!”

Where are we going now?

His excitement is contagious.  We move faster and faster as we get closer.  We are running, sprinting.  We can’t get there fast enough.  We come to a stop.  And then I know.  He is taking me to His Father.  My Father. Our Father.

My legs begin to shake, and my strength to stand wavers.  He puts His arm around me, and we enter the place that is unexplainable.  The majesty. My senses are awakened as never before. I am euphoric.  Anticipation builds as we draw close.  A few more steps, and we arrive.  The throne room is before me.  Jesus takes me in, and the most magnificent light fills the expanse of the room.  Angels surround and sing praises.  I fall to my knees and bow, for there is nothing left to do.  Jesus kneels and bows beside me.  Together, we lay ourselves at the feet of the King.

After some time, the Lord says, “Well done.  Welcome home, my daughter.”

This is my new life.  Eternal perfection.  Everything and more.  Home. Here I will be, waiting for you so I can say,

“Welcome home.”

I Know

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“But as they laid him in the ground
Her heart would sing without a sound

For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
Where no one knows the pain you left behind

And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes”

This song gets me every time, but this time it hit me in a different way.  This time I am…well, I don’t know, just overwhelmed with emotion at the incredible, sacrificial love that this woman has for (what my mind imagines is) her husband.  ‘Her heart would sing.’ Her heart would SING????  Her heart would sing with the thought of the love of her life being set free from his pain.  The pain she feels from her loss pales in comparison to the joy she feels for him.  In her moment of greatest sorrow, she rejoices for him.

I can’t overlook one detail here.  This isn’t a case of a woman whose husband lost his battle with cancer or some other horrendous illness.  Oh he was ill, gravely ill, but not in the same way.  His illness didn’t take his life for him.  No.  The choice was left up to him – continue to suffer in agony, or set himself free.  He had to choose.  Himself, or his wife.

His pain was soul-crushing.  He had no fight left within himself.

She knew.  She understood.  Her love for him was so great that she could feel his pain.  She could see the torment he lived with.  And when he was set free, she released him.  She encouraged him to go forward into his new life – his life without the pain and sorrow that plagued him for so long.

Can you even imagine?  A woman has just buried her husband after he took his own life – and she isn’t angry.  She is sad, of course, but above all, her heart sings for him.

Permission to be candid?  I don’t think I can fully comprehend this selfless love.  This love that asks for nothing.  This love that stands strong, even when being left behind with such finality.

And my heart absolutely breaks.

It breaks because one day my husband gently looked at me as he stroked my hair, and said, ‘I know.’  As I looked into his eyes with tears streaming down my face, and I told him I didn’t want to be here anymore, he said nothing but, ‘I know.’  How could he love me so much that he could stay in that moment with me, and just recognize my pain?  How could be put his own fears and hurts and needs aside for the sake of mine?

Strength.  Strength I don’t understand.

I know the strength it takes to fight for my own life, but I don’t know the strength it takes to fight for someone else’s life.  But I’m grateful beyond measure.  That ‘I know’ means more to me than any two words ever spoken to me.  The ‘I know’ proved the sincerity of his ‘I do’ twenty years ago.

The memory of all this is still fresh and raw.  The pain comes back almost immediately at the mention of the subject.  It doesn’t seem real, yet the feeling that wells up inside me reminds me that it is indeed very real.  As much as I wish this wasn’t something we had to go through, I know that we are forever changed.  We are changed for the better.  We have scars – some that have yet to heal.  But we have so much more.  We have experience and knowledge and insight that we can use for good.  We can find purpose in this journey.  We will find purpose in this journey.

This, I know.