The Friday that is only good because of what follows on Sunday. The Friday filled with the pain and agony of Jesus' public and humiliating death.
It's also my mom's birthday.
But this year, this arrangement of dates feels appropriate. I started my journey through her last days yesterday, when I sat in her cry that was Jesus' too. Stay with me. Remain here with me. Watch and pray.
Today I remember the pain. No, there was no public humiliation, no torturous instrument of death, no bearing all the sins of the world at once, no torn temple curtain. But the pain, the physical pain - that she and Jesus had in common.
Her breaths that became shallower and shallower, more and more labored. Her mouth that couldn't stay moist, no matter how much water or ice we gave her. Her cries each time we tried to move her, each time we adjusted her position in the bed or changed her diaper. That pain was the worst - there was no way to avoid it, and no medicine that could stop it.
She wasn't in constant agony - we had the morphine, and we used it. We kept her pain at bay as best we could while still keeping her breathing. But she still felt it, she still hurt.
I wish... I wish she hadn't had to feel any pain. I wish we could have given her just the right amount of medicine to keep her breathing and pain free. I wish she didn't have any cause to say "my God, my God..." but I think, in her moments of pain, her spirit cried out like that of her Lord. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
As I sit in and remember her pain, and my pain too, I can't quite look forward yet. I know that Sunday is coming, that Easter is near, that the resurrection of Jesus makes all the difference. But right now I need to sit in the pain, the disappointment, the despair of Friday before I can get to the hope of Sunday. I need to sit in the terrible Friday that the disciples experienced two thousand years ago - the hopeless Friday, the embarrassing Friday, the Friday that was the end. The Friday they experienced without the promise of new life two days later.
Sunday will come. But today, on this terrible/Good Friday, I just feel the pain.