Girls’ Night Out Story #27: Megan Dunham

So much pain and no good reason why
You’ve cried until the tears run dry
And nothing here can make you understand
The one thing that you held so dear
Is slipping from your hands
And you say

Why, why, why
Does it go this way
Why, why, why
And all I can say is

Somewhere down the road
There’ll be answers to the questions
Somewhere down the road
Though we cannot see it now
Somewhere down the road
You will find mighty arms reaching for you
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road

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I crawled into bed with my oldest daughter last night and was quiet for a moment before hitting play on Amy Grant’s “Somewhere Down the Road” on my phone. We listened to it together and cried together and I just held her. And then I quietly said, “Sweetie, people are going to hurt us our whole lives long and the only thing we can control about it is our own response. And sometimes that response can’t even be shared with them.  Sometimes it will only be in our own hearts.”

Words she needed to hear? Perhaps. Words I needed to hear myself say? Without a doubt.

I’ve learned a thing our two about suffering in the past couple of years. In fact, I think it’s the only lesson I’ve been learning for the past couple of years and I find myself saying, “Why, why, why…does it go this way?” I can’t quite see down the road just yet, but I know to keep walking.

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Fall is my favorite season. I love the sweaters, the jackets, the blankets, the pumpkin spice everything, and fun porch decorations. But my fall has a glitch every year because every time I pull out my fall porch decorations, I cry. Without fail. They remind me of my mother.

Four years ago, I asked my mom to help me decorate my porch. She drove the two hours to my house, took me to Hobby Lobby, made a few purchases, and suddenly Martha Stewart herself appeared on my porch and pointed her cutesy wand in the direction of my double doors. It was lovely. But the next year when I went to pull the wreathes and things out of storage, I was on my own. My mom’s body was rapidly being claimed by the brutal beast that is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. She would never be able to stand on my porch again and her days of even being wheeled through my front doors were numbered. I’ve been fumbling with my porch decs ever since.

We no longer live in the house my mom helped decorate. We’re in a rental in Bozeman, Montana. I’m still struggling with my porch because now, not only is it an acute reminder to me every year that my mom is no longer with me, it also reminds me that the life we thought would be ours will never again be. Friends we thought would be with us to the end…never again will be. It’s one thing to choose a different path for yourself. It’s quite another to have others choose it for you. Betrayal is hard as a teenager. It’s even harder in your forties.

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We are settling into a new rhythm in our new home super close to Canada. I am grateful for tiny graces and new friends and people who gently ask about our past, but know to stop when the tears begin again. They are not rushing the process, nor are they giving up on us in the meantime.

I’ve had a few people tell me they are so thankful we’re here and I think, “Do you have any idea what happened to cause us to be here?” Damaged goods find it hard to be appreciated again, even on a new shelf.

But I don’t say that. Instead, I give a feeble smile and nod. I’m slowly learning to say that I’m also thankful to be here. It may take a little more time before I really am.

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Somewhere down the road
There’ll be answers to the questions
Somewhere down the road
Though we cannot see it now
Somewhere down the road
You will find mighty arms reaching for you
And they will hold the answers at the end of the road

Walking in faith,
Megan


unnamedMegan has been married to Craig for almost 19 years. They and their four daughters are recent transplants to Bozeman, Montana, where Craig is the Headmaster at Petra Academy and Megan serves as  Intake Coordinator for Gallatin County Love INC. She refers to herself as a Jesus follower, wife, mom, foster parent/advocate, freelance writer, occasional crafter, Jamberry slinger, and Mary Poppins wannabe.


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2 thoughts on “Girls’ Night Out Story #27: Megan Dunham

  1. Martha G. Brady October 27, 2015 / 8:57 pm

    well put megan. i have been there. different circumstances, but definitely felt the pain of betrayal. it hurts. even when you know GOD has led you to the next place, the emotions take awhile to catch up. i say that 30+ years later. i still remember that pain but it doesn’t sting anymore. you are often in my prayers for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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