The Holy Trinity, the three wise men, faith hope and love, important trios that underscore my life. Bad news also comes in 3’s, celebrity deaths see to happen in 3’s, the Stooges numbered the same. Like a triangle that closes all the gaps, maybe one side longer but still all is contained within, I notice threes. When only two bits of news arrive, I grow anxious for the next hit. Even understanding disagreements which include not two sides, but yours, mine and the truth, I see threes. There is a symmetry in this number, welcome or not, throughout my life. I know that really I just stop counting at three, start over, but this is my own construct, my reality. So when I got some upsetting information two weeks ago, I new more was coming. I was right. Two more nuggets hit that have rocked my sanity, wormed into my world and just keep ricocheting with no safe place to land.
I have searched for evidence of my daughter online, blocked from her on Facebook and phone calls. I seek out any possible user names on reddit and twitter, looking for boards on Pinterest, trying out Instagram. A desperate fishing expedition that yields nothing, she is determined to hide. A skilled hacker could surely find her, just as a real fisherman knows the right bait, the best waters. But I am not trying to lure her home, that is beyond my current dreams, more like a tracker, who can sense where she is hiding, where she has been, where she is going. She doesn’t want to be found, I cannot get to her. Still, we maintain a connection that has not been severed despite all efforts. I knew, before I was told, her news. A mother knows. I told myself it was fine, I was okay, I already knew. Yet I am left with more emptiness that actually feels so much like horrible pain I might need a trip to the ER.
I also learned information that rocked my perceptions about my entire life, changed what I know to be true and shifted anger and frustration all around again. News that woke up old hurts and anger with absolutely no outlet, no resolution to be had. I remember one vacation as a child when my older brother was fishing off of a pier in Florida and somehow caught an eel. It snaked up the line and was coming towards him, he was screaming. This bad news is like that, I just want to scream and run and get away. Someone quickly cut the line, sent the eel back into the water. I can’t snip this line and send the monster back. I can’t figure out how to be free of this squirming ugly sliminess coursing through my soul.
Finally, I learned recently that bridges are sometimes rebuilt because pain just cannot be borne alone. Fear like planks laid down one after another, reaching out towards the other side where hope and support will meet. The very act of joining means we carry some of that pain, hold up some of the worry and share our hope and faith. We built a bridge and now I have news that is scary and painful and out of my control. Like the time I caught a catfish, glorious on the hook but whiskers that pierced when touched, I got near and now I bleed from the encounter.
The three’s in my life are bringing worry and pain and fear. I thought I was managing this latest batch but have to admit I am floundering. I am twitching, I am teary, I am that fish on the bottom of the boat, gasping for breath. I have been caught, I need release. First step is recognizing the problem, then remembering that first trio, the Holy Trinity. Back to my ultimate 3. More healing than the ER, more accurate than hiring a hacker, the transcendent bridge builder. I cannot manage these new hurts alone, they are too big and too scary and bring more than I can bear alone. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, the 3 I am seeking today.