I have adopted a posture for writing. It appears that warm lamp light and tired feet – propped with a wet soppy hair. Bluegrass dances in the background and my thoughts are like shooting stars needing to be wrangled into coherency. Grab a cup of tea and snuggle up.
No lies, I have avoided writing. Though a gift and therapy in one– its like exercise, sometimes you lack the discipline to make it happen.
Part I: Reid Harkey Road
My fella and I, we grew up somewhere in these last few months.
No really: the gray is spreading.
We bought our first home. A little ranch that has given us more than a few “projects” since we moved in at the end of April.
It feels strange to think of the mountain of student debt that creeps in my shadows, the barely-making- it feeling I have most days, the way I know the amount of change in my wallet right now, that I qualified. We put down a down payment and now have the privilege of making mortgage payments.
Houses were for big people, mortgages were used a big-boy bargaining chips on friday night fire side talks. Not the part-time hippie, beer drinking goon that I am most of the time.
I am thankful for a steady job, a steady man and steady persistence to make goals happen, one paycheck at a time.
Part II:::: Life and death
You were hoping for something light weren’t you? Go ahead skip ahead…
My mother gave us a scare. A fatal arrhythmia that was divinely intervened into a week-long hospital stay, ventricular ablation and a new heart-regulating device my mother affectionately named, Phoebe. She is 50 years young and has more spunk than 2 women. Her red Indian face and endless complaints about the temperature, texture, thinning hair, twilight…. are who she is and who I almost lost. She is still afraid, who would not be?
Mortality is horrifying. It is only through the supernatural that one has grace to stand in its swallowing light.
A few days after my sweet momma made her way home another sweet momma was entering those same sanitized walls. She indeed faced Mortality’s swallowing light and is now resting in the arms of her Savior.
Nancy was her name, my mother’s age and my mother’s build. A family friend, one of the mommas who raised me. She would claim me instead of her own girl in public because she thought her and I ” looked more the part.” Don’t get me wrong, Nancy loved her sweet daughter, Jayne, immensely and still does I am certain.
Nancy lost an 18 year battle of cancer. She saw her beautiful daughter married almost a year to the day she passed. She left behind a faithful husband and boy who just graduated college a few weeks before.
Death, its promised. Its expected and assumed. It’s even a gift for the suffering. With a known constant why does this hurt so badly? I was given her running shoes after the funeral, we wear the same shoe size. I have pounded pavement- praying- petitioning for peace.
Grief, these stages—- hoopla. I think its a spectrum of anger, sorrow, forgiveness, etc—- all back and forth like light through a prism.
Why not my mom? Why is life so fragile? Why are we all not orphans? Why do the good always die young? Wisdom, where are you in this?
She looked like a corpse that last time I saw her– tubes and lines. A scene I knew all too well. Jayne and I sat at the foot of her bed and talked- holding her hands, both crying- both trying to smile. We were alone, just the three of us and I believe that all three of us knew. Tomorrow would come and it would be that last tomorrow Nancy would know.
When was the last time you felt death so tangible?
Part III: Putting pieces back together
Life has moved on. She passed on our anniversary. Its been almost two months now. Through sea-side prayers, slow jogs and the slug of yard work, life is slipping back into the familiar glove that I have never been more grateful for. ( i don’t care if i end sentences with prepositions, who made those rules anyways?)
May this essay of words find you warm and well. May it remind you that life is unexpected and charging forward.
May you seek the supernatural power of the Holy One to support you through your next bend in the river. May you hug your mom if you still can, if not- then may you feel the presence of her in your heart.
” I’ll fly away, O glory,
When the shadow of this life have gone
I’ll fly away
When I die, hallelujah bye and bye
I’ll fly away”