Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Two-Year Picnic

Dear John,
 
You've been gone two years today. I wanted to examine myself and have a sound, coherent statement for you about where I am and what my life is now. But today is also Palm Sunday, and it's 10:00 at night and this is the first moment I've had all day to relax and think. And I don't think I have a good enough handle on myself or my life right now, anyway. Maybe it's you that should be giving me the report. You always knew me better than I did, anyway. I'm too deep in the forest to be able to see the trees.
 
Last night was the first night this year that was warm enough to leave the windows open. The animals loved it. Jethro sniffed the breeze half the night and the cats slept in the window sills. The birds woke me up before 5, then the sun woke me up again before 6. We have a cold snap coming so I'll have to close them again tonight. But warmer weather is here, and it is good.
 
I went to church this morning, but didn't stay for the fellowship meal. I didn't really feel like being in a crowd and chatting. So I splurged - I picked up a fish sandwich (keeping the fast, since fish is allowed on Palm Sunday) and had a picnic with you. It was good to talk to you, and good to have prayers there. It's the first time it's been warm enough and dry enough to be able to sit down and stay a while. I didn't want to leave.
 
I came home and spent the rest of the afternoon putting the orders from last week's Lia Sophia party in the computer. Then I went back to church for Bridegroom Matins - the first service of Holy Week. And it was wonderful. It's an amazing thing to sing the Holy Week music in a dark church, and to be in the home stretch. I'll spend around 30 hours in church this week and I'll love every minute of it. I missed Holy Week two years ago because I was spending those last few days of your life with you. Last year I wasn't emotionally ready to handle it - I tried, but couldn't do it. This year it is wonderful.
 
And maybe that is my report: I'm able to go to church without you now, to do Holy Week on my own. Oh, it's all more acute than it used to be. The resurrection is a more pressing matter than it was when you were alive. I understand death better than I used to. But I'm meeting it on my feet this year. I can sing the music without crying - mostly. I'm a fully-participating part of the Church again, and that is so, so good.
 
So it seems that the two-year point is a time of transition for me. Things in my life are changing. I'm taking responsibility for my future in a way I've never had to before. The calendar still has thin places and it probably always will, and those are quite unpleasant. None of this is any fun. But I'm settling the load on my shoulders, and finding that the yoke, if not easy and light, is doable.
 
That's all for tonight. Go and celebrate completing your second year in Heaven! But don't forget to pray for me.
 
Love you with all of my heart,
Joan.
 




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