Friday, December 11, 2020

Beauty from brokenness

 Three years. Three years ago today you left on your last great adventure, leaving me behind, stunned and bereft. 

Thirty-six months, 156 weeks, 1,095 days of getting out of bed, putting one foot in front of the other, trying to reinvent my life without you in it. 

Except, of course, you ARE in it. Your imprint is everywhere I turn, every room I inhabit, every drawer I open, every inch of space through which I move when I am home, and in many of the spaces in which I move when I am not at home -- church, grocery store, even the gas station where that one employee often walks outside when he sees my car to tell me he still thinks of you often.

Your happy spirit keeps showing up, making me smile even when I get teary. It practically exploded out of the boxes of Christmas decorations Gavin and I pulled out. Yes, we hauled them all out, including the boxes and boxes of fabulous Christmas decor left to you by Tom and the others. Right now, they are filling the front porch room and the morning room of the farmhouse, with artificial trees (yes, plural trees) standing outside. 

There they sit, while I slowly go through them. Gavin thinks we should put it all up in a wild Covid 19 quarantine frenzy of decorating, and I think he may be right. Of course, like you, he has no intention of helping put it all up. He just wants to admire the finished job. Like you, my love. 

But what an admiring appreciator you were. You loved the extravagance of it and wasted no time planning parties to share it with friends. 

Well, no parties this year, as we all hunker down while the pandemic rages. If you were still here, I would have to tie you to a chair to keep you safe. You would have gone nuts without seeing and checking on all your peeps for so long. 

But I have started the decorating -- and yes, I know it's still Advent, but I needed some cheer, knowing this day was approaching and that I would need some bulwarks against the still-fresh grief of losing you. 

The Christmas tree is a real one, a gift from Mike Judge. It is lovely, and so far, Sable Cat has simply admired it. Let's hope her restraint maintains.

The lights on the garland for the round window still work, which was a pleasant surprise. And you are glad to know, I am sure, that the window has been repaired and is now in great shape, considering it's what, nearly 100 years old?

The fireplace, as usual, hosts Santa and his reindeer and my mom's straw Christmas trees. Of course, I never sit in front of it without thanking you again for its design. You were a genius at things like that-- creating beauty out of broken fragments and leftover pieces that others discarded as useless.

In fact, that's what the genius of your ministry was -- taking broken and discarded people and reflecting back to them their real beauty. 

God, I miss you, my love.


Ellen said...

Oh Katie, I think of you often and can feel the same type of pain you feel. We keep moving forward inch by inch, slowly, methodically, each day. What choice do we have? If we don't move forward we get stuck in grief-like mire, and really aren't good for anything or anyone. So onward we go with the grace of God and our husbands' unchanging love. That's what we need and that's what we are given each day. Grace and love. You are loved. xxoo


Sending love and hugs across the miles ... and smiling at memories of hospitality past in the sacred space that is the home you and Gayland created together. Love you millions.

jhloggins said...

“Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep (BCP 134).” That we remember is Gayland’s ongoing ministry drawing us into eternal beatitude.