If You Ask How I’m Doing, I’d Say OK

Ain’t it funny how in the south (maybe other parts of the country too) that we are raised and taught to flash a smile and respond that everything’s just fine, or we’re doing great when really, inside, we’re hurting.

I think I’ve become a pro at putting on my happy face and smiling my way through life.  Even with my closest friends. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m NOT happy, because I am….for the most part.

It’s that time of year. When finals are wrapping up on Campus and people are solidifying their summer plans or moving apartments or any of the stuff college students do.  I don’t know how I know it’s this time of year without someone telling me or having it noted on my calendar. But I know

Why? Because my heart gets this dull ache.  This pain that I can’t explain.  It’s like a darkness sweeps over the very core of me for about a week each May.  Why? Because it’s getting close to the anniversary of when I lost my Daddy.  

Starting next Friday, I can give you a play by play of what I was doing 11 years ago.  It was my 4th year at NC State.  I’d finished exams and was packing up our dorm room and moving into the apartment that I’d share with my real sister and one of my favorite sorority sisters.

 That Saturday night at about 11:30 pm my sister and I started the long (3.5 hr) trip back home.  Mom had been helping us move into the apartment and kept thinking of reasons why we shouldn’t leave…sometime a little after midnight, we found out Daddy was in the hospital.  

Who knew that Monday (while sissy was finishing up an exam in Raleigh) that I’d loose my best friend?  That his pain on this earth would end?

I know I’m not the first or the last to experience this pain. But y’all…my heart HURTS.  It hurts because of all the selfish things that I wish I could’ve shared with my Daddy.

Like graduating college (I wore his much too big for me boots to feel like he was with me)

Like getting married (one of his blue bandannas was tied around my bouquet so he’d be with me)

Like getting a job….(his hard work ethic drives me to be a perfectionist)

And selling the house (he sacrificed so much to make sure we kept that house after he and Momma divorced….)

And getting a different job (he warned sissy and me about working in agriculture…but I LOVE every minute of it!)

……and now that we’re starting to think about children…the fact that they’ll never know their grandfather hurts….bad. Like real bad.

Almost as bad as when I couldn’t remember what his voice sounded like one day.  Or how my heart catches when I smell his cologne in the wind. Or when I see a sandy blonde man wearing navy pants and a light blue shirt (his uniform).  

But, even with this crazy pain going on in my heart, if you ask, I’ll flash a smile and tell you I’m fine.

And, I willing to bet I’m not the only one hiding behind a smile and a little white lie…


…. care to share the secret of your heart so we can pray for each other?

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