Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thumped up the side of the head

Not that long ago...
I’ve been on a seven-week sabbatical/journey. I’ve put quite a few miles on my car. Atticus, my labradoodle pup, has become quite the traveler; Sprawled out in the backseat, he seems content to snooze around the country. I’m home now and some things seem better and some are worse. Let’s start with the good: I feel stronger emotionally, mentally and even physically. I look back over the first few weeks after Gary’s death and I honestly do not know how I functioned. Now, seven months into the loss, those first days seem like a miracle. I woke. I dressed. I ate. I visited with friends. I went to church. I saw to business. I even smiled on occasion.  And, miracle upon miracle, I managed not to harm myself. Oh, I never had suicidal thoughts, but I am amazed that I didn’t accidently walk out in front of a car, or when driving get the brake and accelerator mixed up. I’m surprised I didn’t eat bananas with the peel still on them. Today, I’m more aware of my surroundings, and my days are a little more intentional, a tad more structured. I’m even thinking about cooking for myself. While I could probably eat cereal two out of three meals a day, my body is starting to yearn for something a little less Cheerio-like.
Spiritually, I’m beginning to find peace. For the first time in my life I truly understand the Apostle Paul’s words when he said to pray without ceasing and to not quench the Spirit. I have been in constant communication with God for seven weeks, maybe longer. Sometimes it all takes place in my head and heart, and other times it looks like I’m talking to myself ... and answering myself. I can’t shake God, and His Spirit is using me like a rumpus room. If this mourning thing is going to work for me, The Spirit must be given free reign. Some days our encounters are like swallowing Castrol oil. Other days, it’s like a cool cloth to my forehead. No matter which, I’m beginning to hear the whisper of Holy Words and feel Divine thumps up the side of my head, mostly when I’m at my most vulnerable. I think this is a good thing.
Now for the bad: I still hate this. I keep wanting to wake up and it all be different. Gary is alive and he’ll be home from work any minute. The numbness is wearing off and the pain is solidifying around my heart like drying cement. Yesterday, I sat out in Gary’s shop in the barn and begged him to come home. Today, out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw him at his workbench. The longing for him has deepened to a level that I have no words for. I think only angels would know how to speak of and spell this kind of ache. I’m not privy to that language yet.
So, the work of healing and mourning continues. I’m thankful for the time away. This house hinders me and heals me all at the same time. I must get away from it, but then after a while I feel myself running back towards it.
LuLu sits in the garage waiting. I haven’t had the heart for a bike ride yet. Maybe it’s time. Maybe pedaling down the road on a pink bike is the next step toward the thing that’s next. Gary gave me this bike three years ago for my sixtieth birthday. Maybe The Spirit thumped him up the side of the head once and made him buy a pink bike. Maybe.


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