Night sky frays to early day. A kind light approaches above the mountains.
This is the day my friend leaves her home to catch a plane. She is moving to an eastern state where she will live out her remaining years, near family. It’s a good plan, but it’s hard for me to cheer for her and give thanks for another loss for me.
Everything fell into place for her, all at once—real estate agent, movers, doctors, children saying, “Mom, come to us. Come now. It’s time.” Amazing and beautiful.
So. It fell out of place for me.
What’s left is for me to accept another friend leaving our state, leaving to live somewhere else, in order to take care of needs and health.
Suddenly, I am tired.
I drag myself to the kitchen, lean on the counter, pour a cup of coffee from the pot.
Then it comes, this sound—“Lord, Lord, help me to accept the things I cannot change….” So many things I cannot change.
This powerless feeling did not start with Covid-19, of course. It has been there. It’s a part of my recognizing human limitations.
I’m done with asking questions about how people’s bodies keep breaking down and why anyone moves away from such a beautiful place. More than beauty must be considered. When someone lives alone and has a health issue, she/he doesn’t need to face the future alone.
My mind totally understands. But I won’t minimize what’s happening. It is another loss.
People move because they must. It’s likely that I want to hoard such goodness, such relationships. Strong possibility.
I eventually adjust. I may not like it, but I adjust. Surely someone can relate.
Of course my life goes on. Of course I still have nature and good friends and family around me. Of course my eyes are in the wrong place. Of course there’s an empty feeling again.
If you’ve been there, you know.
Feelings. They’re everywhere. I’ve been on the phone more in the last month than I can remember. Why? Because women need to talk about the fact that there’s no yeast, not enough masks, how they tire as they stand in line, the wiping things down, how much they miss gatherings and being hugged. Feelings, all about feelings. Once feelings get heard, most suddenly feel like they can ride out any virus-thing.
But something good can come out of dark times, storms, losses.
Out of the dark soil, my baby tomato plants are laboring to stand. They reach for the light (a Grow Light), unfurl a leaf, drink the sweetness out of the warm light. (This is my second planting.)
Out of the darkness. Out of the losses, all sorts of losses, the world changes. Then we see new life. I know this strange truth, but I tend to forget when my feelings overwhelm me.
No matter if it’s a loss to death or a loss to a moving van, when we lose someone—we suffer.
Jesus. The cross. Death. That tomb. Then resurrection. Grace.
What a story.
Now I sit up and breathe. I see a gluttony of green in every direction. My most current loss and the world’s pain and darkness—new life will come from it, eventually.
Right now, it’s an emptiness, but if I remember right, grief changes into grace. That emptiness will be full again, one day.
I do not serve a wasteful God. He uses everything that happens in our lives. He’ll even use Covid-19. Everything will eventually work out, according to His plan.
The rain stops. I open the front door to let the dogs go outside. I ask God to open my eyes to what He wants me to see.
May you and I drink the sweet from what we can see in this world.
Weeping Willow in Pat Durmon’s front yard.
Photographed by Pat Durmon, May 2020.