With my baby boy curled under my ribs, we drive through the gates and up the road to make “arrangements”. We pass by rolling hills of green. The Veterans Terrace where he will be buried is on our left.
I choke on my thoughts. Coffins. Burial plots. Payment plans. My Dad has cancer.
Even the sun and all it’s golden beauty looks grey.
Onward and upward, kiddo. That’s what he says to me.
We’re greeted by a woman – I hardly notice her face. I faintly recall the nodding of her head and the chatter between the two of them.
The reality is frightening.
I simply can’t get involved in this business of dying. So, I leave the building and walk into the streets of denial – where I stay for quite a while.
She’s only twenty, I still hear him…
Seven years later, on the edge of morning, he passed away. I think I heard him say good-bye.
Onward and upward, kiddo.
Life brings change. Some changes we barely notice and others stare us down – like the loss of a parent.
Don’t hesitate to say I love you.
The wind blows ever so slightly. The sun shines over the green. I imagine I can move with the breeze – away from here. Down a winding road.
But I sit with the names among the blades.
And in my mind I ask, over and over, where are you? I want to know what you’re doing today. What are your plans? It’s impossible silence.
Final. Finally. Resting. Why.
Who am I to question what God gives. And takes away.
Why the grass withers. The flowers fade.
Why we are deeply hurt sometimes.
And still, I dare to ask…
Do you hear me – do you hear the hurting world? When the whispers of the heart scream, do
Underneath the sun. Below the earth. Beyond. Loved ones. At peace.
Wrap my mind around this. Final. Resting.
When the clouds open up and the sky falls on us – do you separate our tears from the rain?
And I wonder – is an illness really an illness? An accident really an accident, why do some stay? And others go…
As I run my fingers across the letters of his name – I ponder. God’s timing. Our days. Numbered.
I want to remember this as I sometimes struggle through days. None are promised. All of life is a mystery to me. We’re here and are gone. In the blink of an eye.
Sturdy, yet fragile. In the powerful hand of The Creator.
What else is there. Who remembers what they see. What they hear.
And the silence breaks.
As though he can mix my thoughts with the wind and answer in a gentle breeze.
Yes, I hear you.
Isaiah 40:7-8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”