This is a story about something that I experienced back in September.I originally wrote it then.
I am sharing it with y’all in hopes that it may touch some of you & help in your journey of healing, from loss – something we have all suffered in some form or fashion.
Well it has been quite a day, I must say. I spent my morning with serious thought after a phenomenal post I read from a blog called Lessons From The End Of A Marriage. (excellent, highly recommend) Shortly after & simply put, I felt a layer of something peeling away & found an obvious new spring in my step. I had no idea where God would take me next but I knew something else was coming. I could feel it.
I got myself together & ventured out to get some things for dinner tonight & when I left the store I decided to take a detour. As some of y’all know I am back in my hometown after many years of being gone. I had not really visited the mobile home lot where I grew up since our Mom died in ’05. I went about this just thinking I was doing it for curiosity’s sake, not realizing what was about to happen.
I pulled off the main road into the park and slowly started making my way down the gravel path. Some of the homes I recognized, memories attached to each one, & others were unfamiliar to me. I wound around to the far right corner where we lived. As I drew closer, I could see the space where home once was. I pulled up and there was a man standing in the yard of the home next to where ours was. I introduced myself & explained why I was there & asked if he minded if I took some pictures. He kindly obliged. As I began to walk onto the property that’s when it hit me. The waterworks started & I found myself powerless to stop them.
I slowly looked around, surveying what once was home. The yard was still as beautiful as it ever was. The grass was always lush & green, with the just the right amount of tree cover. Mom loved her yard & her birds – I think it was her own little slice of heaven after Dad died. Dad loved it there too – and I think we all knew that because he would write about in the paper. I’m still getting to know him through those old articles, in fact. I glanced over & saw what was left of the clothes line Mom used to hang our sheets & whatnot on, only one end of it still standing. Next I saw the big old tree where our brother Alan could always be found sitting to the right in his fold out chair, coffee cup & cigarette in hand. As a child, I interrupted his me-time many evenings, because I loved being with him. He almost always graciously humored me & other times he would politely ask me to please leave him be. I enjoyed whatever he felt like sharing with me. He was a gentle giant to me, with a periodic hot temper that I did my best to steer clear of.
Waves of grief just kept washing over me as I took the pictures & walked around. I felt my knees beginning to buckle at one point and I did my best to gather myself to make my way back to the car. I couldn’t go having the paddy wagon called on me by the neighbor, who I felt pretty sure was watching the goings-on. Pulling away, I was blessed to see an old friend not realizing she & her husband now lived out there too. I had to stop and say hello – and what did I do but spill it & blubber in front of her. She was so sweet & gracious & said “Just let it flow girl”. She understood what I was feeling, said she had been there too. It really helped me – thank you TSL, you were Jesus to me today.
In only what I can describe as miraculous, today I have honestly (& truly) faced head-on the loss of my once-best friend & marriage partner, the loss of our beloved Dad, Mom & brother – & in a way the loss of my childhood due to things needless mentioning now.
Grief is a funny beast. We run from it, stuff it, try to bury it, but it always finds us again. Today, for me, it was a gift – a beautiful, freeing, cleansing & telling gift. A seed for my future. A laying down of what was, for what will be. No one could have ever done it this way for me or navigated it so perfectly but God. He knew exactly when & how to take me there, and He did in His Great Love, Mercy & Grace. The one & only place in this wide world I can always run to and feel completely safe & accepted is You.
Today might very well be the best church service I’ve ever attended.
Thank you from the depths of my heart & soul Lord.