As I sit on my couch looking out the patio door, I ponder the life I see outside; birds flying by, children playing, a gentle summer breeze blowing, sun shining and even an unwelcome wasp flying near my patio, looking for a place to build its nest, and I compare it to the death I’m feeling on the inside. My heart feels dead and numb.
I glance around the room at our dear friends who have come to be with us and our family who are still here from New York and Pennsylvania. I hear whispered voices in the kitchen, saying, “Has Larry, Joanne and Rhonda have anything to eat today?” “Did someone bring in the mail today?” “Do you think we should help catch up with their laundry?”
A different kind of “life” finds its way into our home. The everyday “list of things to do” sort of “life.” The part of life I want nothing to do with. Death has caused me to feel as if everything is dead. Every day is the same as the one before. Grief and death greet me every morning. Grief on my left, death on my right. My routine is simple. I get up, shuffle upstairs. I’m met by family who stopped their whispered conversations and wonder if they woke me. Someone just asked me if I was hungry and could I try and eat something. “I just want coffee.”, I answer. Someone jumps up and gets right to it and in no time, I have a cup of coffee in my hands.
I don’t care that it is already 79 degrees out at 7:30am, I wrap myself in one of the softest blanket I have ever felt. I think of my dear friend, Anne Jensen, who gave me the blanket. It has become my comfort blanket. Like Linus, the Peanut Character, who always had his blue blanket wherever he went and would suffer anxiety if he didn’t have it with him.
Again, I sit on the couch, look out the patio door and see the sun, who is still rising for another day; the doves, sitting on the pole line, singing their sweet morning melody. Very little breeze this morning. No children playing outside yet, but there is the wasp again. I wonder if he is any closer getting the nest done.
I’m offered breakfast again. I’ll just have a piece of toast, only because I can’t take my medications on an empty stomach. Rhonda is still asleep. I’m glad. If she sleeps, she isn’t crying and feeling the pain that is breaking her heart and I can’t fix it. My dear husband is on the phone again. Making arrangements for something or taking a call from a friend or family member.
I decide to get dressed. But I hesitate because if I go downstairs, I’ll be alone. I don’t want to be alone. My twin comes with me. I’m washed and dressed and it’s back to the couch.
Then, my heart whispers the Name of Jesus. Yep, I’m still curled up in His arms. His promise is true. He never leaves me. I think about each of the dear people who are in the house with us. How blessed I am. Who in this house is an encourager? Who, everyday so far, has taken me by the hand and took me out to the patio for morning Bible reading, reflection and prayer? Who gets the others to join us? I smile. That would be my dear sister-in-law, Hilda Smith. I love this time together. His Word is alive and gives me hope. It is life to me.
Today we read, Psalm 50:15, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” I will glorify my Lord, because He is my Refuge and my Hope.” My grieving does not go unnoticed by God. Our tears of anguish are always before Him and He offers us peace.
I thank you my Lord that you hear us when we cry. We are consumed with grief. Remind us, Lord, to stay focused on You. There is no other way we will get through this, but with Your help and comfort. Today, help us to see You in the little things so we may be comforted. Amen