I vividly remember sitting alongside the shore of the St. Lawrence, listening to the church bells signify the noon. I was wondering if anyone else remembered that day – July 25th – the day the two came together as one and promised a lifetime of love.
Did anyone else notice? Did anyone else, as tears slipped down, offer a prayer of thanks for the beginning to an ending?
When she first left, I prayed for days, for months, even years. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and I’d lift weary heart and hands to the only Holder of my pain.
Months turned into years. Temporary turned into permanent. And you start to forget what it used to be like. You start to forget what it used to be to use the word parents in the same sentence.
There is a tree outside my window, and at the top, half of it blooms gloriously against the blue sky. The other half a stark contrast, is brown – grey, almost, as leaves no longer bloom.
It’s the visual reminder to me that a part of me has died and a part of me still lives. I don’t always experience the death – but there are moments, days, when the ache in my heart bleeds into my bones and my body remembers in a way my memory fails.
There will be a day soon, when people will gather to celebrate that ending and rejoice in a new beginning. And surely, there is much to rejoice over. Yet I cannot hold one without holding the other. As much as I will rejoice on that day, there will be a part of me that will grieve and weep, too.
And maybe that is okay.
Perhaps there is a way to experience both death and life together, like the tree, and hold them both close. Perhaps there is a way to hold the parts of me – the dead, grey limbs and the long, bushy branches – as parts of the whole,
as brokenness that blends and makes one what was deemed irredeemable.