THE LULU CHRONICLES
|Papa & Nellie Rose|
Today, I ran across an old pair of Gary’s hiking boots hanging on a nail in the garage. Before I knew it, I was clutching a mop for stability and weeping. As I stood there, all I had to do was turn in a circle and see parts of Gary’s story. On a top shelf was a miniature, remote controlled speedboat I’d bought him for one of his birthdays. A saw blade hung on another nail, no telling what he used that for, but it must of meant something for him to give it it’s own nail. A soccer trophy sat on a shelf beside his fishing pole. He learned to play soccer in his late twenties and taught and coached our boys through their school years. His blue canoe seat sat on a ledge over the dog kennel, a kennel he had built for our sweet lab, Dooley, at one point. The sighting of the canoe seat hit the projector button as I saw the two of us on our last trip down the Wisconsin River a couple of years ago now. That was the summer we had gotten some promising news from our Mayo doctors that the cancer had not shown up in the latest PET scan. We decided to celebrate with a summer of fun. We canoed, went to Door County, enjoyed counseling at our summer church camp and simply enjoyed our family. Today’s float down memory lane was almost unbearable.
I gave in to the emotion of it all as I allowed the memories to wash over me. I’ve found that when these moments sneak up on me, I simply go with them. No holding back. I let the yearning be. I don’t try and talk myself out of it, or lecture myself into a better state of mind. I just let it run its course. So, from the top of my head and straight out my toes, I oozed with sorrow, and I almost cursed God.
My mourning and longing takes me to the brink. I don’t know yet what’s exactly ‘over the brink’. I’ve never gone over it. Close though. I imagine it could be a place of no return if no one is there to reach out and save you. Fortunately, a family member, a friend, even a grandchild has been there for me when I’ve come close to losing my grip and sliding toward the abyss. Today, it was three grandchildren: Two short-legged boys with sticks wanting to hunt for turtles in the pond and Nellie Rose, pacifier in place, toddling towards me, curly top bopping and dimpled hands reaching for me. God knows when I need someone and who that someone should be for that particular moment. I almost lose it, suddenly, there they are! Sometimes He just comes Himself. Other times, He sends angels, the winged kind or the human kind. Both are Spirit led.
I can handle almost. Almost is do-able. I can live through almost. I’m able to walk away after almost. God continues to amaze. He continues to stay the course with me. He continues to stand between the edge and me.
Almost reveals God’s mercy and His impeccable timing.
I can live with this. I can.