You only be around the people you love for so long before you need a break. There is a reason that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that familiarity breeds contempt. I can see the signs that I am getting on my daughter‘s nerves, and that even her new husband is annoying her at times. My husband is the lucky one, he is able to go off to work and leave us here to rattle around each other. The happy couple just left to go for a hike. The house is quiet and even the dogs are settling into their respective chairs. Energy begets energy I suppose.
When they leave this Sunday, it will be different. I will anticipate that it will be a couple of weeks before I will see them again. I will worry over their travel time on the highways. I will fret over what to have available for them when they return. It is the strangest of push and pull -the need to have the ones we love with us and the need to be able to escape from them at times.
I know that there are times when I need to do something, pay bills, or clean the house and all I want to do is escape to my studio and paint or to the computer and write. There are times before that sheet of paper in the studio when I hear the dryer’s buzzer sound and gratefully abandon the work before me and settle for more mundane things.
When my son was living it was the same way. We did well for about 3 days before he got on my nerves and I on his. Thankfully if his visit was to be of any length it was usually punctuated by him choosing to take a hike, as his sister and her husband are doing now. Hiking, in fact the same place where he would choose to go. She asked me if I wanted to join them today, but I have yet to face that trail. I have been on too many trails in my mind as it is.
The principle is the same as I mentioned before. Because I cannot be with my son, I long to be with him. There are no 3 days in which to become aggravated any more. There are just days and days of no contact. Sometimes I wear out my sorrow and just feel blank – as if there are no feelings left to feel.
I have been able to be present with my daughter and son-in-law. I have paid close attention to them and enjoyed them being here. There are new dynamics to be explored and considered.
Last night in bed, my husband asleep beside me, the sorrow flooded back. I talk to God a lot at night in the dark. I’m not real sure that anything I ever believed or was taught as a child has any validity. I believe there is a God, but I also believe we know very little about Him. The explanations men give , trying to interpret as valid proof about God’s character, using what they call “scripture”( which are in fact letters written to other men who are equally confused about God’s character) frustrate me. Some of their observations concerning love may be on track but the rest is comparable to you reading this and thinking you know my son. You may have a glimpse or two about his character, but it is heavily biased by my own love of him.
I know because of who I am that I will continue to pursue as best as I can , a relationship with God. I just will. My son pursued a relationship with the created (and he would perhaps laugh at that term preferring “natural world” instead). I haven’t sorted that all out yet in my head and that is the only thing that continues to haunt me. There are teachings that were drilled into me and were oh so easy to swallow because you did not even have to chew first. They stick in my throat now. I just want to stop trying to create a God in my own small image. If indeed He is, then I will let Him be what He is.
But I am finding after this hiatus from God that I am beginning to miss Him too. I miss the relationship He had allowed me to have with Him. I miss the mindless comfort that I derived – because I thought it safe to allow him to be in control. I think I misunderstood.
My daughter seems to have gotten a better handle on spiritual things than I had at her age. Perhaps it is due in part with her own early brush with death when she was sick with leukemia. She seems more matter-of-fact about her spirituality and I envy her sometimes. I think it will serve her, her husband and future children well.
Maybe I gave my children too much freedom – too much space. I digress.
I was awake a long time last night. I tried to keep it down so as not to wake my husband who is taxed by work and his own stressors.
My mind wants what it cannot have. The same pattern is at work here though it is in relation to a much weightier reality.
So is it wrong for me to remember the times when my son annoyed me? They are as much a part of the reality of who he was as anything. Is it wrong to travel that trail when I need to justify myself for just wanting to be alone?
Sometimes, crazily, I fear my time alone. that like that morning blissfully alone in my studio painting – not thinking about my son or daughter or husband.-painting, lost in the water and pigment one of the most precious things in my life disappeared from the face of this earth. Was there some mean vibration in the cosmic flow caused by my selfish self centered enjoyment that triggered the fatal event?
Insanity! Crazy superstitious thinking. The little ball rolls around and around and then drops in to the slot every now and then. The lights, light up and I rummage through the crazy thoughts, until they settle down again.
So right now, I am alone in the house with the dogs. It is quiet and I like it.
I cannot spend every moment of every day with the people I love the most on the off chance that they might die that day. They might. I might too. This is so confusing and I really don’t get it God. I really don’t get much of anything at all.
I am trusting that there are more trails to be cut, some in the company of others, some alone. I am eager and hopeful concerning where they might lead.