There are, I think, too many questions, some of which I may never have an answer for. But what I do know is that God is here, right here, in the mysteries and synchronicities of my life.
From my Journal
I was feeling poorly last Thursday, going through what I call my rat-in-a-maze routine. I was feeling unsettled, disconnected, discombobulated. Usually, I fight this feeling, but this time I decided not to. I decided to go with it. Let it take me where it wants to, I thought as I got into my car and started driving.
I ended up at a cemetery to visit my parents’ graves. Even though I hadn’t been there in a while, I had no trouble finding their gravesite. On the way, I noticed that most of the graves had Christmas wreaths on them. I hoped there was one on theirs, too. There was. One of my sisters must have put it there. Many of the graves also had American flags on them, but my parents’ did not.
A few moments later, as I walked away, I noticed an American flag lying on the ground. I got into my car and headed for the cemetery’s exit, then changed my mind and circled back around. I picked up the fallen flag and looked around to see if I could determine where it belonged. When I couldn’t, I put it on my parents’ grave, placing it next to my father’s name.
I felt better then, but by the next day those feelings of disconnection returned. This time I drove to the church I had attended as I child. I felt better just seeing it. It had always felt like home to me. I went inside and knelt before the altar. I’m not sure if I prayed, if I said “please,” or “thank you.” Mostly I just listened to the silence.
When I left, I drove to the house where I grew up, taking the same exact route I’d walked as a child. After making a final turn, I looked at the end of the street where I could see the house in front of me. I drove slowly toward it, looking at the windows that belonged to my parents’ bedroom, and then at a window that belonged to the room where my sisters and I slept. There is some part of me still there, I thought, and I felt better.
At home, I picked up the book I was reading, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and read these words:
“Packing up. The nagging worry of departure. Lost keys, unwritten labels, tissue paper lying on the floor. I hate all of it. Even now, when I have done so much of it…Even today, when…I am aware of sadness, of a sense of loss. Here, I say, we have lived. We have been happy. This has been ours, however brief the time. Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material...but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood.
“This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. Today we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again. Even stopping for luncheon at a wayside inn, and going to a dark, unfamiliar room to wash my hands, the handle of the door unknown to me, the wallpaper peeling...for this moment, it is mine, it belongs to me...This is the present. There is no past and no future. Here I am washing my hands, and the cracked mirror shows me to myself, suspended as it were, in time; this is me, this moment will not pass.”
My memoir, Dear Elvis, a story about love and loss can be found at amzn.to/2uPSFtE