Sunday, December 28, 2008
The other day I was sitting in my car thinking about my husband and how much I missed him at this time of year. I was heading out to go to one of my practices (I'm in a theatre production). I was feeling so abandoned and alone. My daughters were going to be leaving me to visit their dad in Wisconsin. School was ending for the semester and everyone would be heading to family and friends. I remembered my husband's smiling face, the way he made me laugh, and the closeness we always gained when the girls were off visiting their dad and Fred and I could reconnect. I told Fred last January that I loved him. That I had never been happier in my adult life than I was in that moment. I said, "I know the secret of happiness," while we brushed our teeth and got ready for the day. "It is to be content with what you already have." I felt so great in those moments, as if I was bursting. My paintings and stories were bubbling out of me. I loved my students, teaching, my daughters and parenting. I loved being his wife. I told him, "Don't forget Fred: I love you." Every morning for two weeks I felt this terrible compulsion to tell him what he meant to me. Don't forget. Remember. I love you.
As I sat thinking of all these things in the car that afternoon, it struck me that the abandonment that I was feeling was how I was feeling NOW. It wasn't how I felt while I was married to him. What we had was real and true. Love is the only real and true thing in this world. I checked my planner and noted I needed to get to West Center. I backed out of my drive way and instead of turning right, I turned left, as if I was going to Desert Hills Rec Center. I looked up at the sky and saw a bank of clouds that spanned the sky, except for a blue patch right in the middle that was shaped like a heart with the clouds defining its edge.
Oh, my God. This was for me. My heart filled as if it was bursting. This love was bigger than anything I had ever felt before. I wept knowing that I was not alone.
I have been given many gifts over this past year. The first one was having the opportunity to tell my husband that I loved him every day for two weeks before he passed out of this world. I cling to this memory, reminding myself that I have no regrets.
Sometimes God speaks to us, to turn left instead of right so that we can see the heart in the sky as it hovers over the mountain that took my love last January. Sometimes God compels us to speak to each other, to remind each other what is truly important in this world: that we love one another. And sometimes God speaks through us...