A week and a half ago when I was running I fell hard in the grass.  One minute I was chatting about something depressing like head injuries, the next I was face down, my head right next to the cement. I’d tripped over a root from a tree, slippery from moss and rain.  Flat on my face.  I couldn’t lay on my right side for a week.

My point?  Yes it hurt.  And yes, it was even funnier in person. And yes, my shirt will never ever be the same.  But the real point is that things can happen so fast.  One minute you can feel as if you have the world at your feet, and the next minute you lay on your face.  Humbled.  Human.

The following Sunday I ran The Truffle Shuffle with my running group.  My body was still stiff and sore from my fall. Around 2 miles, it began to ache so badly my eyes started to water.  I didn’t stop, but I wanted to.  Freshly humbled from biting it, I could still feel my face in the dirt. And I felt it, for the next two miles.

When my sister called me last Thursday I heard the softness in her voice…I knew he was sick again. Suddenly I was fifteen. My Dad was in the hospital being prepped for open heart surgery.  We packed haphazardly…not knowing the future.  I didn’t even know if I’d get to say goodbye if something happened.  At 31, countless phone calls have come in the past years, countless hours waiting to hear, miracle after miracle occurring. It is a helpless feeling not knowing if everything is going to be okay.  If I won’t get to hear his deep baritone voice. I had started the day already frazzled… Grace had tests for her kidney that day, I was being visited by my monthly fairy, and then I heard my sisters voice.  Suddenly the world stopped and I was staring at the ground.

They couldn’t test him for a day because of the damage, so we had to wait. My Dad wasn’t in the position to talk.  More waiting.

All I wanted to do was go for a run.  Run fast so when I cried it looked like I was sweating.  Run away for 30 minutes so that all I could hear was my breathing and my feet pound on the ground.  But I couldn’t.  Chris was at work, kids had to be dropped off and picked up, there were piano lessons, and Grace had an appointment.   So I did the better thing. I prayed.

And I thought about Clumps. Little issues, big problems that we face that force us to pray.   And then my mind faded away from praying to the perfect distraction.  Mascara.

I was testing Maybelline New York the COLOSSAL VOLUM’EXPRESS.  It is a part of a three pack from Costco of different Maybelline Mascara’s.  It is a fat yellow rounded case with purple writing. The color : Glam Black.  And the first day of my trial when I put it on was the day of  Grace’s test, the phone calls, and texts from my brother…I put it on in my suburban in the pick up line at school.  And it was clumpy.  Just like my day. I couldn’t even cry…I didn’t feel glamorous. Or glam. I felt like a stay at home mom, who had snot on her sleeve and dirty hair.  And I’m sure I looked even worse.  Freakin’ Clumpy Mascara.

When I arrived at Jonah’s piano lesson my cell phone rang.  It was my Dad right on time for our weekly phone date. We talk every Thursday at 430 pm, my time. He remembered even though he was in the hospital.  As I watched Jonah from the windows  of our car, his back erect over the lit up baby grand, I listened to my Dad’s voice.  I talked very little.  He was still slurring from the med’s. He told me he loved me about 10 times.  He talked to Micah, who told him he’d just pooped in the potty. Daniel told him that he loved library day at school. And Grace sang for him.  He asked me to keep praying. I told him I loved him. He said he never doubted my love for him.  I wondered later if he knew I cried the entire conversation.

Later when I was in bed that night, I thought again about clumps. About how I have plenty of little things that make me crazy, little things I offer up throughout the day.  And then there are the big things.  Realizing that as I pray for someone, I don’t really ever know how things will turn out.  And that scares me.  And even though I know God is in charge, it doesn’t make it easier.  I love my Dad. He’s far from perfect, but he is mine. And I have never ever doubted he loves me.

The next day I ran hard, I didn’t fall, but became completely soaked from the rain. I ran too hard to cry. As the day progressed, and I waited to hear, I felt pain.  I ached but it wasn’t from that week before, it was the ache behind my heart.  The ache of not knowing.  The ache of love, that gives us a lump in our throat, that we just can’t seem to swallow.

As I got ready to volunteer at the kid’s school I took out the Volum’Express mascara again and when I slid the wand out I saw the clumps sticking to the bristles. I slowly brushed them off and tried the mascara again.  It was brilliant.  No clumps.  Totally Volumizing.  A reminder to me to always check the wand, before I apply.  I loved it.  And was weirdly comforted.

Later that day as we arrived home my brother called, and said that it was a valve issue.  They weren’t going to have to do open heart surgery again.  They could fix it medicinally.  That my Dad got another day.  My face ached, this time from smiling.  My hair was clean and my eyes looked amazing.

And I prayed.  I praised God for another miracle.  Because the most important thing my parents have taught me is that each day is a gift.  And that doesn’t mean we won’t fall on our faces. That there won’t be clumps.  And my Dad is a perfect example of that. His life has been hard, but he is here. He falls and he gets up.  He lives his life.  And He’ll tell us he loves us ten times, because you never know…

So final score: 7.  After working out the clumps I really like this mascara.  I think I’ll use it again.

Final Thought: read back over this post…my words were deliberate.  Time goes by…A week and a half, the following Sunday, last Thursday, another day, Thursday at 4:30, the next day, later.  Each day is a gift from God, because clumps happen.   People need to know we love them.

Sometimes when we wait long enough, it’s too late.