March 22, 2018
Yesterday played a melody of easy, until an unexpected song entered, and my emotions were captured by the familiarity of heartache, as tears made their uninvited way out of hiding.
Yes, tears. No surprise here, since I still cry almost daily. But most are reserved for private, and these arrived in public, at a restaurant named, of all things, ‘General Public’. We were there celebrating Kylie’s written offer for her new position, and decided to go to a restaurant I frequented with Bill.
I realized when we sat down, the last time I was there, was with him. But I refused to allow my mind to wander off into this arena.
This was a celebratory occasion.
I had a glass of wine. I promised myself I wouldn’t for 30 days, and only three days in I was no where close to the finish line, but justified that as long as I wasn’t home, it would be okay.
I am sure it mellowed my guard a bit. The one I have in place to keep all composure in check, to not let out extreme instability.
We were finishing up our shared meal and conversation.
It was nice.
And then the song. It wasn’t like a favorite of mine, but more of a familiar one.
At first, we looked at each other and Kylie smiled. She knows her daddy’s fondness for Paul Simon.
I’m on my way. I don’t know where I’m going. I’m taking my time, but I don’t know where…
A single tear rolled down the cheek.
“Sorry,” I say.
I tried to get myself together. The calm expression in place, while anxiety stirred underneath.
Sadness knew she’d get her way by night’s end.
We head home. But before, I stop in the grocery store parking lot. I send my adult daughter in to do my dirty work.
I already feel dirty. Worn down. Tired of caving to cravings to kill the ache.
I don’t care.
I just need to numb through the evening.
We arrive home. She leaves shortly after.
I pour one large glass.
I need to hear him.
I dont’ want to go there.
I know I will.
I listen to the voicemails. His voice, a combo of soothe and sorrow.
I curl in a ball in his chair, listening to each one. Twice.
The final one, left on my phone almost a year ago today. The pain in his tone. Fear. Desperation, as he asks me to remember to pick up his medicine.
As if I would forget.
I want to forget.
Not him. Just the pain of losing him.
“How long Lord?”
I make my way to bed. A friend happens to text, asking how I am doing. Her perfect timing doesn’t go unnoticed.
I send a lengthy response, ending with, “I am hoping for fresh hope in the morning.”
I awaken to a headache, as the same song sings along on repeat in my mind.
I make my way through my morning rituals, when I hear a whisper from within,
What do you want?
“I don’t want to drink anymore.”
I didn’t ask for anything monumental, like the grief destroyed, or infused with hope, or even world peace.
I don’t want to drink anymore.
Okay then, don’t.
Stop. Now. Today.
I’m afraid to write the words, only to fail again.
Still, it feels different.
As if Jesus asked the words, like the ones he asked of the man on the mat,
Do you want to be well?
The man gave an excuse as to why he couldn’t get to the magical healing water, when Jesus says something crazy, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
And, at once the man was cured.
What do I want?
I don’t want to numb my way through my evenings.
What do I do?
Well, I could begin by pouring it out, and by declaring to myself that I am a non-drinker again.
Breathe deeply, Josie.
Let peace enter.
Maybe tea too.
Know I don’t need this to get me through.
Because I don’t want to get through my days any longer.
I want to go through them.
To live each one to the fullest.
I hear the beginning of a message by Jill Brisco on the widow and Elisha.
The empty bottles he told her to get from neighbors. The little oil of hope she had left. He told her to pour into them. The oil kept coming until all bottles she had were full.
Jill says, “As you go, He pours in.”
Slightly different, but I wonder, now that my bottle is empty, could it be He is ready to pour in?
I poured out. He will pour in.
Lord, fill the emptiness, the loneliness, the deep pain I feel at his passing. Pour in buckets of hope, joy, peace, contentment, and anything else that will create an abundance, instead of the lack I feel in his absence.