This time of preparation for Lent has been much different than last year. I actually enjoyed the Mardi Gras Kids' Parade this year instead of standing in the middle of the street feeling lost and mute. And I preached at the evening Ash Wednesday service this year, instead of sitting in the pew and weeping.
Oh, there was weeping this year, just not from the pew.
I expected that this Ash Wednesday I would be smiling at the memory of the life-changing news that we had received just a year before, but instead I felt fairly contemplative and not very chatty. I wrote a sermon that I figured would do but I wasn't really on fire about it. During dinner prior to the service I remembered standing up on a chair in the middle of our fellowship hall and yelling to anyone who would listen that Jay had been placed on the list. And while I was preaching I remembered sitting in the pew with Jay who, when he was reminded that he was dust, and that he would return to dust, wept openly. And then I sort of lost it. I only had about five sentences of my sermon left, so I powered through, but it took me by surprise. I know that anniversaries of major events carry a lot of emotion, but I didn't think I'd get choked up given that the news we received a year ago was so happy.
But I sure did.
It's really incomprehensible that it's been a year since we got the news. It made for a pretty meaningful Lent, that's for sure. I remember telling my colleagues when we returned from the transplant evaluation not to be surprised if Jay actually had the transplant during Lent. It just seemed appropriate. And sure enough, Lent was our waiting season, and Easter was our first time back in church as a family.
It was meaningful, yes, but Jay and I have agreed that a not-so-meaningful Lent would be just fine this year.