One grieving mom to another:
I just wait.
So do I.
I wonder what we’re waiting for?
The excerpt above is from a fellow blogger’s comments on one of my previous posts. It inspires further reflection.
What is this something? What do I wait for?
Five months, two days ago, I COULDN’T WAIT to rip into the day, regardless of life’s circumstances. I leaped out of bed like a child who had no patience to discover what was inside the gift box under the Christmas tree. It sounds corny, but everyday was Christmas. Twenty-four hour segments flew by, and I darted behind each day as if I was trying to catch up to an Olympian runner.
Now, five months, two days later, I feel like I’ve been dumped into one of life’s empty waiting rooms without a clock on the wall. So, I wait. What do I wait for? The day I reunite with my son?
My mom used to say, “Day after day after day, ‘til the last day.”
Has that aphorism become my epic battle song that I sing now during the darkest chapter of my life until I arrive at the end of the book? Then what? I close the book, and a trumpet thunders and signals my long aWAITed reunion with my son.
“You’ve arrived!” In my imagination, I hear Alexa’s voice as an angel proclaiming the news.
Or, do I just wait for my son’s toothy white grin to be on the other side of the front door’s window? I expect to catch a glimpse of his eager face ready to enter what was once his home. I grow more impatient than ever since that youthful, solid and towering presence once crowned my world like the North Star and kept me from getting lost.
When my mom lost her oldest son she told me she always thought he was outside sitting on his favorite chair on the front porch. Numerous times, she found herself calling out to him. Of course, the front porch remained quiet and empty.
Admittedly, when no one is home I beckon in a familiar tone, “Marshall! Marshall!”
I wait and wait. In the deafening silence, I catch the familiarity of the maple tree’s drooping branches outside the exterior door’s window. Like the maple, everything has changed, but I remain standing.
As others await the end of this pandemic so they can return to their ordinary lives and do things like reset goals and “arrive” at new careers and new milestones in life, I have arrived in the waiting room of life before and during the pandemic. Going forward, I believe, this is my last stop. Fortunately, the space is not noisy and crowded. It’s not stressful. I am not afraid. I crave nothing.
Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh’s profound words frame the room, “This is it.”
So, that’s it. Waiting. The question is, does faith live here?
Maybe the answer lies deeper in the same grieving mom’s additional comments on my post:
I am not going to say anything,
about how beautiful your son is,
and his mother.
Love to both of you.
Speechless, there is no response to those words because they are the words of hope, and their beauty cannot be contained under gift wrap. Subsequently, without faith, there can be no hope. Sometimes in the crux of waiting is the crux of our search. This is it.