We are getting Chandler’s first care package ready to send out today. More of his clothes, his backpack, shampoo and conditioner, more pictures to add to the photo album Marti made that we sent along with him, a personal CD player (remember those? He has no access to the Internet so Pandora and iTunes are out), some CDs I think he might like, his camera, and two sweet notes that two of his friends dropped by — the most unlikely ones to do such a thing. These are kind kids. Most of his friends are furious at me for sending him away.
I’m finding that anything I can do for Chandler is therapeutic — like somehow filling in some of the empty space I feel inside. Like I took his camera to a camera store yesterday (did anyone notice camera stores are becoming obsolete?). It had a shattered filter on the lens that I had replaced, and I also got him a camera case. Chandler is an excellent photographer and uses a Canon Rebel we got him for his birthday. It was a joy to get it ready for him.
I also went to a local record store in town (yes, LPs are coming back. They have more LPs than CDs in this store and the owner said they would be out of business if it weren’t for their sales of vinyl). I told him about Chandler’s tastes and he suggested a couple CDs I bought for him. This is a bit of a challenge since Chandler doesn’t recognize music by the artist or band as much as by style and the online programs that play music randomly by genre.
I even went to the local convenience store that he and his friends frequent and got some of his favorite candy. Awful stuff, but I got it anyway.
Anything to help lessen the pain.
When we talk on the phone — which has been almost every day so far — something’s different. The first few days were brutal, but it’s getting better now. We talk about things I would never talk to him about if we were in the car together driving somewhere. He would have turned me off in mid-sentence. And get this: I wasn’t in on this conversation, but he told Marti he got the note I left him in the Bible I packed in his bag for the plane. He said he took it as his first assignment and he already completed it. Well, that’s great, except I didn’t leave a note in that Bible for him. Nor did I leave him an assignment. What a great idea that God had me working on something months ago I must have left there. He took it for an assignment? You can bet I’ll be sending him some more.
I hope I’m not boring you with these details, but it’s all I can write about right now. Please pray for Marti and me that we can get through this depression; our work requires full attention. And pray that we will be kind and forgiving as it is easy to take out our frustration and guilt on each other. Everything seems to be magnified right now — especially our differences. I find myself having to be right about the dumbest things. Who cares how you water the lawn or cook the soup? Why are these things suddenly so important? We’ve got to get closer, not further apart. We have an imaginary sign we use with each other sometime. It says, “I was wrong; you were right.” Time to bring that sign back out again.