Friday, February 18, 2011

preparing to remember

The loss of someone close is never easy. And September 23 past was no exception. My love, my husband, lost his dad. And Heaven gained another soul. His home sits as a monument of sorts, empty and hollow after the memorials and visitations until... Yet again, we prepare to remember. Brothers will gather, sisters-in-law in support. We will all quiet enter through the door and wonder where to begin. Hidden spaces in abandoned closets beckon, kitchen cabinets call. This man, who called God his friend, his Savior, and King, sprinkled trinkets of faith for us grieving still. Stray tears will trickle and be quickly wiped away as we remember.

How will we determine what is keep-worthy, what to give, and what to let go? Each possession, a reminder of life lived well. We'll recall the memories, and remember more as we sift through books, letters, dishes, pots, pans, and all things that make a household live for a man. This CD, that movie, these photographs... that blanket, those sheets and towels. Shaving cream. Through all of this, we'll remember. We will share stories and laughter. I have 30 years of stories, my sisters-in-law have more. I am married to the youngest son of three.

We've never done this before, this chore of sorting through the years. He is the first of our parents to soar to Heaven. So we'll learn. And we'll lean on each other. We'll be careful to ask what has meaning, what each one would like to keep. And we'll watch for silent moments of heads weighted in hands to bring light touches to tense shoulders.

I'll watch my husband, my love, work through tools, storage bins and other garage utensils. Work needs done, yet raw emotion remains. Adrenaline for the moment will carry him through the motions, but I know it will come. He'll be quiet then, and I'll know. And I'll whisper a prayer for strength, and offer a tender hug. My sisters-in-law will do the same for their working men.

... and we'll remember. He is Home. He finished well.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

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