Ok, so I didn’t really write that last post in November; it kinda looks that way because that’s when I opened a WordPress account, and I edited my welcome comment without paying any attention to the date. Not my first mistake, but this is my first quote:
“I make more mistakes than anyone I know.”
I really, truly do, and I have no memory whatsoever, but that will be a notable quote for later.
So this is my first blog in “real time.”
My days off used to be spent building stuff. Or breaking stuff. Or actually crossing stuff of my “to do” list. Now this idle time is spent rewriting “to do” lists and “sorting and organizing.” This really means going through stacks of stuff I’ll now never be able to throw away, and pictures of him. And of all the kids when they were younger, which always includes pictures of him. And albums, and notes, and letters … and wow, here’s one from him … and missing Mom and Daddy, and him. And so many regrets of things I said, and didn’t say, and things I did, and wish I had done. And I drown in this river of desolation, as I sink into the couch holding that picture of us against my chest, weeping again. I wonder how I can take another breath, how I can get out of bed every morning. Why am I not still in this fetal position, frozen with anguish all day long?
How? I think it’s because my God holds me up. The poem of two footprints comes to mind. The prayers of my family and friends have lifted me for these last 9 months. I’ve spent so much time “working” on this grief thing, I feel like I should counsel others – so many books read, and hours in prayer, and retreat. Discussions with my Spiritual Counsel – Numerous priests, my spiritual director, friends that are ministers, and friends. I know the right answers. And I truly do get really strange and exciting feelings often when I pray, and when I walk, and sometimes when I’m not expecting it at all. Feelings of warmth, cool breezes from nowhere, a tingling chill when I have some thought or image that just seems to appear into my mind at unexpected, but very relevant times. So, yes I do know the very real touch of the Holy Spirit.
But for some crazy reason I have so many doubts. Maybe I feel I’m not worthy of such a divine intervention holding me in His embrace. Doubts? Sure, like: did I just make all that up? Is it really that I just want so much for God to be embracing me and strengthening me that I imagine it? That my strength really comes from the fact that I MUST get out of bed every morning. Bills to pay. Life does go on, for the rest of us. I have four other children who look to me for strength, so despair and equivocation is not an option.
And maybe I’m just so horribly afraid that my faith, that I think is so strong, really is a lie. That my faith, that I can argue apologetics for hours why it is so true and real, and the God who is so true and so real, may in fact not be. I’m told that St Ignatius of Loyola (the founder of the Jesuits) called these dark times, periods of desolation, and that all the greats have them. He did. St. Augustine did. Mother Theresa did. Pope JP2 did. Why should I be any different or any better. I guess that’s why its called faith. It wouldn’t be my faith if in fact I had seen the face of God. Or if my dearest son tapped me on the shoulder right now and told me that he was fine, and better than fine, and in Heaven and with Mom and Daddy, and that all that I had told him for 19 years was really true. But he in fact hasn’t. And so I do continue in faith, and hope, and love. For my family, and my parents, and my son, and the God that I do so desperately want to be embracing them all right now.
So, ok. This must sound really depressing. But it’s not. It’s just my life right now. I find much strength and consolation from something, and I have such a deeper perspective, and depth of love and empathy than I ever knew existed before. It is very real, and it comes from somewhere.
I won’t go on and on in this blog about Cullen. That will be a different blog. This one is just really mine, although it does include him, and mainly him right now. It really will be about my journey here, my life, my camino. More about that later also – my Camino.