These are indeed the days when I spend most of my time in a daze. There are so many thoughts and feelings racing, unabated, through my heart and mind. As I sit watching my 4 year old granddaughter playing with her massive, colorful pony collection, imagining a conversation between them all in her little falsetto voice, the idea that some day her daughter may be doing the same careens through my field of enjoyment. I flash back to when my daughter sat and played with her pony collection. In a flash, I am THERE.
I watched as my youngest son put up our CHRISTmas Tree, one of those joyful tasks that has always been a joint venture, but this year, he worked alone. I helped him find a burned out bulb on the light strand, my only contribution. While I loved seeing my Country Cottage Tree come together, I missed the participation. My body no longer provides me the energy I crave to do the things I love. As I watched him hanging the last of the handmade-like ornaments, on a tree he loves nearly as much as I do, I remembered the many days we shopped each year adding the perfect decorations to our tree. And always enjoying lunch together on our days out and about. I thought back over the many times he has jumped in to help me with any situation. Helping with the babies, cooking, cleaning, setting me up with many different safety features in the home. He is always checking in on me and asking what he can do for me next. And I went THERE.
A few days ago, Tristan was sharing a moment with me, which we do quite often. He was gesturing with his hands just like his grandpa does. He said something funny and then threw his head back to laugh like his beloved mama does. I thought back over the years of watching him grow, reaching for him behind the “curtain” when he was little, getting him through some rough patches, teaching him with extreme patience and kindness, watching him begin to flourish academically and socially, and seeing his different characteristics become more defined. I thought about my grandchildren who live so far away whom I miss so very much. I wish I knew each of them as well as I know the ones who live here, and then, I went THERE.
Sharing tender moments with my family has become so very desperately precious to me. I have always treasured them, but now? It’s different. I feel like I am frantically holding on. My cherished, baby girl put her head on my shoulder recently, quietly, tenderly, and I held very still, fearing the moment would end before I was ready. I stroked her soft, fragrant hair and I whispered some encouragement to her and as she began to cry, everything inside of me dissolved. I could almost see her tucked under the blankets as a child, with a stack of books and a flashlight, and thought about all the times I tip-toed away, pretending not to notice she was still awake long past her bedtime. And, I went THERE.
While texting with one of my beloved granddaughters the other day, she told me something her father had done for her. My mind was caught in memories of my oldest son’s kind and protective nature, so like his father’s. I think about the day when he was just a teenager and he stood in our front door opening, preventing someone from coming near me because he had seen them hurt me in the past. He was about half their size, but stood his ground for his mama. His smile is heart-melting and he knows how to use it on me. And those eyes? His many expressions? Then, I went THERE.
My daughter-in-love sent me a message yesterday of a picture of a parking lot and asked if it brought back memories. In the far corner of that parking lot I could still imagine all our cars parked in the same places in front of the apartment. Oh yes, it did bring back memories and it brought a smile to my face. We went through so many rapid changes while living in that area, but mostly sweet memories of spending time with them – eating, laughing, enjoying every moment, never knowing the biggest change was on the horizon. The day we would move away from my son’s family. The day that will forever bring tears to my eyes, and I went THERE.
I spoke with my Seeser yesterday and we laughed until neither of us could breathe. This year we will not spend New Year’s with them as I can no longer travel. I can only pray I will see her precious face again on this earth. And then? THERE!
I cannot begin to explain the rush of feelings that sweeps over me as I look into my husband’s loving eyes as we listen to the song “Chasing Cars”. The fear, the deep sorrow, the love, the joy, the moments we have shared over the years. As he closes his eyes to sleep every night, I am THERE.
“THERE” is a place in the very depths of my being. I never knew it existed. It’s the housing for all the thoughts I try to keep at bay. It is filled with bitter-sweetness. I try endlessly to keep it hidden, locked. It is the “whens”, “hows”, and “whys”. It hides my “what-ifs”, “buts”, and “if-onlys”. It is filled to the brim with dark, morose and morbid possibilities of my last days on this earth. I am always alone THERE. I would not, could not, never will, let anyone go there with me. I try my best to avoid it, but there are those moments, those flashes, that usher me in regardless. I cannot see or breathe THERE. I must quickly reach for the light as it is dark and oppressive. And I thank God for the Light. The Light for this place called THERE? They are like bulbs on a strand of CHRISTmas lights.
The first little bulb: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev. 21:4
Next: “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18
That is just enough light for me to avoid crashing into my fears.
Then: “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalm 73:26
And: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
And then the Light that helps me breathe THERE:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Next: “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” John 16:22
And: “For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalm 33:21,22
Then? The lights that help me see my way back from THERE:
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalms 28:7
Why are these scriptures my Light? “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 HE has already provided all that I need for these days in a daze. If you are going through a dark and lonely place, turn to HIS Words. Let HIM be the Light! You are gonna make it!!