THE LULU CHRONICLES
|April 18, 2014- Birthday Girl rides a roller coaster.|
So, okay, I turned 63 on April 18. Yet, another ‘first’ since the Hubs has been gone. I was three months older than Gary. He liked telling everyone he was married to an ‘older woman’ during that three month period. Cradle Robber was his favorite pet name for me during that interlude. I always breathed a sigh of relief when, on July 10, he turned the same age as his old lady. We had a lot of fun with this running joke the past forty-three years. Of course, I wished it could have continued at least until I turned 103 and he followed three months later.
Years ago, I bought the Hubs a sun dial engraved with Robert Browning’s infamous verse, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be...” It never crossed my mind that we wouldn’t get to grow old together. I don’t think it ever seriously crosses any of our mind’s that we’d be cheated out of that experience. Intellectually, we know death will happen and it will happen to one or the other first. Yet, emotionally, we hope we’ll be exempt, or that maybe the rules will change before it can happen to us. Or, maybe the Lord will come first and save us from the unthinkable.
I think that’s okay. We are nothing if we are not a people of hope, and a people who believe that our God will come, is coming, and will someday actually be here. I was hoping and praying that He would come before Gary and I had to say good-bye. He didn’t.
I’m the one left. Gary and I had many late-night conversations about this before he died. We even talked about this before he ever got sick, and we both agreed that I would probably be more capable to handle being alone than he would. At this point and time, I want to officially renege on that decision. I don’t feel capable at all. What were we thinking? Just because I can cook for myself and know what all the buttons on the washing machine do, does not make me the best candidate for roaming the earth without my soul mate. Gary was the spiritual giant in our family. I was the tag along. If it weren’t for his loving patience and gentle spirit, I would have gone off the deep end a long time ago. But, here it is: God chose him. And, He must think I need a little more work.
So, I’m now 63. Gary will not be catching up in three months. He is on a different timeline these days. It looks like it’s me who going to have to do the catching up now. He has seen God’s face. I’m only longing to. He knows the secrets and the mysteries of the universe. I’m still reading the Words and trying to figure out what they mean. He has found the Throne Room. I’m still trying to get the map open. He has kissed the Scarred Feet. I am still looking and trying to follow the footprints.
My birthday came and went. And, when I laid my head down at the end of the day, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that it had been a really nice day. Maybe Gary wasn’t wrong. Maybe I can do this. Maybe.