THE LULU CHRONICLES
When you lose someone you love, your grief begins to be pockmarked with milestones: Your first night alone in the house; Opening his closet door for the first time. The first Sunday sitting alone in church. Oh, the list goes on. Well, this past Friday I faced down another milestone. I went to a movie by myself. This was something Gary and I loved doing together, especially during the winter. Friday was always ‘date night’ as we each took turns getting to choose which movie we’d see. One shoot-em up, macho movie equaled two chick flicks next time around.
So, I decided it was time to do this on my own. I was fine during the movie. I ate my popcorn and enjoyed the film. It was all okay until it ended. When the lights went up, my sorrow burrowed in. Suddenly, all that I longed for and missed slammed into me like a left hook: Gary taking my hand; The feel of his fingers lightly bushing along my back; Huddled together walking out into the cold air; Me getting into the passenger side of the car. Everything between us had been so automatic and natural and now all is gone. Date night is no more.
Milestones. They take you to the murky bottom and then miraculously, they become the stepping-stones that rescue you: The first time you start the snow blower on your own; the first time you hang a shelf without help. The first time you make a complete meal just for you. The first time you sleep the entire night without tears. One step. Two steps. Three steps closer to your new normal.
Milestones. They hurt and heal. They break you and build you up. They devastate you and give you hope. I want to ask God if there couldn’t be a better way, an easier path, a more direct route to this new life I’m embarking on. But I don’t ask. I’ve decided to just accept. I’ve made a commitment to simply trust. When one milestone punches me in the gut, I straighten and wait for the one that will soon come that will pull me up. Both are needed. Only one is appreciated.
God loves me. However, His love doesn’t come with strings or entitlements. His love is the real deal. It’s steel wrapped in velvet. It’s anchored deep into the soul. Storms, heartache, sorrow, grief, loss are no match for it. Bring it on! He says. Be amazed! He shouts. Come! He beckons.
Step. Step. Step…