Sunday, March 3, 2013

Orange Stevia & That Hole In My Heart

Dear John,
The Spring Attack continues. For my snack tonight, I had my little bowl of ricotta cheese. But instead of putting Vanilla or Toffee Stevia in it, I got wild and reckless and used the Valencia Orange Stevia. It was good - not particularly orangey, but brighter and crisper. Maybe I'll try the Peppermint Stevia tomorrow. I'm out of control.
We had church today, with the Annual Parish Meeting afterward. These are the simplest and most congenial church meetings I've even been to. I don't throw up after them or anything. It's delightful. We got a handout of the whole Lent/Holy Week schedule today. There's nothing different, but I'm so looking forward to it. Today was the second Sunday of pre-Lent - the Sunday of the Prodigal Son.
I missed Lent at church last year, with you in the hospital all that time - as Father said, I had my own Lent. And when the intensity increased in Holy Week, it did for me too, because that was when you got septic and I knew you didn't have much longer. And then you died on Holy Friday, a little after noon. There could have been no better timing, except maybe to choose different decade. I missed the Paschal service because I wasn't ready to face people yet - I'd just have stood in the back and bawled. I did go to Agape Vespers on Sunday afternoon and read Latin and German, but that's always a very small group, and people that I'm very close to, so it wasn't demanding emotionally - it was comforting instead. In 2010 I had to miss a lot of Lent because of the mono, and I was in Ann Arbor for Palm Sunday and Holy Week. And I missed most of Pascha because I got so nauseated and had to go out - not unusual when I've been working nights and try to swing back to days.
So part of my wish for a boring 2013 is that I get to have a full and normal Lent. I really need it this year. I need the time to stop and evaluate my soul, do a thorough confession, look at the new habits and routines I'm establishing in light of what is best for my soul, and make decisions and commitments. And for the first time since 1974, I'll be doing that without any accountability or support from you. Living a disciplined life while you live alone is extremely challenging. I'll devote Lent to examining this new unaccompanied life.
I almost forgot - in Father's report at the meeting he mentioned that we had lost two members this year, you and Dick. And he said how much you're both missed, and that you were both men who were filled with joy. I knew that would mean a lot to you, so I wanted to tell you. I had several people tell me today how much they still miss you.
And you know I do - that doesn't need to be said. But I'll say it anyway: I love you with all my heart, and miss you because that heart has a hole in it now.
Love you so much,

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