Have you ever eaten a blood orange? They taste a lot like a regular orange, but most of them are a little bit bitter, and their fruit is red. It’s an interesting mix of tart and sweet, and that’s what this weekend is like. I’m still a little bit in denial about losing the baby, but the constant spotting makes it an annoying reality. It’s sinking in a little at a time. But my weekend is so crammed full of happiness, that it’s a blood orange weekend; mostly sweet with a little hint of bitter.
My best friend brought her new son home from Ethiopia on Friday, and it was amazing and beautiful like nothing you’ve ever seen to watch his new family see him come home. I know when I look at the photos again I will cry giant crocodile tears of joy. (I’ve never understood why we say “crocodile tears” when they seem so dry and scaly; it seems like “elephant tears” or “whale tears” might be more appropriate.) I had the privilege and joy of watching my friend’s family open their arms and hearts to this gorgeous little boy who speaks few English words but smiles big enough to light up a city block.
Saturday, I get to meet my childhood-into-early-adulthood best friend’s daughter. My friend and I have talked on the phone and e-mailed as if we never had a time gap in our friendship. I’ve seen tons of pictures of her little girl, but I am so excited to see her in person and to see her whole family for the first time in years. I’ve had this weekend marked in my calendar for months, and no amount of disappointment will take away from the joy this time will bring.
Saturday and Sunday, we are celebrating the coming arrival of my niece with a baby shower and a tea, and I volunteered last week to take photos since my in-laws keep forgetting to do that. I love that the showers and teas mean that my niece is arriving soon, and all of the baby stuff is achingly cute. I also love that I get to take pictures; I love shooting my camera, and it lends a sense of purpose to my attendance. Believe it or not, I don’t love mingling. I’m not anti-social, but I am introverted enough that parties make me very, very tired of people and noise. Being behind the lens provides a little distance while still allowing for brief encounters with persons of interest; cameras are perhaps the greatest invention ever for the terminally reclusive.
All of the activities and the new people to meet this weekend make it easier to let the shock wear off in little bits. I know at some point soon I will run headlong into the brick wall of absolute reality, but having a few days of busy joy will knock down a few bricks before I hit the wall (I hope). It’s easy to look at the timing and think about the bitterness of loss in the face of such happy events, but it’s far more comforting to let the sweetness take away some of the tart. It’s a reminder of the abiding joy of Christ despite our physical circumstances: easy to think about, much harder to practice. Thank you, God, for blood orange days.