PAIGE 44 - O LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO

The time of the Triathlon was looming ahead in my mind. I couldn't get my mind off it, I mean I'm not a referee. Why did I get signed up for this? I don't even like sports. Am I going to do a good job anyhow? I couldn't concentrate today, how am I meant to referee four thousand Russians? I'll admit I went to church feeling pretty stupid and annoyed at myself. I mean I could have just said no. But I said I'd referee (did I say I'd referee?) and now I have to referee. I even bought the reconditioned escapee outfit thing. I felt like a pirate today. Arrrr! Arrrrrgh. Urrrgh. Hur-gurrrrgh. Silently, of course. I don't do these weird things out loud.

I looked around, and thought what am I doing. These are my family, and yet I feel so out of sorts with myself like I want to cry. I mean it's just a referee job get over yourself Livi you don't have to kick a ball or anything. I said L can I sit near you today. She said sure. So I did, and I sat there, and said to myself how am I meant to enjoy the weekend, Sunday particularly with this thing looming over my head? Then I thought to myself well who cares nobody knows me here anyway so I'll just not show up, it's not like it will make a difference. But I didn't really believe myself. Did you know arguing with yourself is like Congress? So I told myself well I'll show up then, say hi I'm a referee and I don't even know what that means. But I have a uniform.

Let's be honest Livi, the defense said, nobody actually cares if you in particular show up. They just want a ref. The offense said I take offense with that. The defense said I take de fence. And then since there was nothing dividing them, I heard WAM BAM POW and there was a cartoon cloud with all these fists and legs popping out of it.

Then I realized the organ was sounding. I mean the iron organ. Not my stomach, my constitution's not that great. It was a hymn I remembered by some guy I didn't remember (I think that's because he's dead), called O Love That Will Not Let Me Go. It starts with "O love that will not let me go." And then it goes "I rest my weary soul in thee. I give thee back the life I owe, that in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be." And I just kind of stopped. I felt like a two year old having a temper tantrum who suddenly realized armageddon does not revolve around receiving an artificially flavored blob of sugar on a stick. I said "wow, is that how it goes?" I must have said it out loud because L moved her hymnbook over towards me, and pointed at the lyrics. I just kind of fell back into a state of rest, not literally because we were standing, but in my heart. Like the little two year old throwing grapes at her parents' eyeballs who suddenly looks up at her father and says, "sorry." And I was at peace again after that.

- Livi

* sugar-loving toddler is a fictitious character, and any resemblance to persons real or deceased is purely coincidental.