Sitting in a church pew Easter Sunday. Seats at a premium this morning. Finding space third row from the Baptismal font. On the right almost under the organ pipes.
Swarms surround us. Decked out in Spring’s cold glory. Small limbs buzzing from early morning chocolate bunnies. Syrupy smells poured over church-basement pancakes wafting up sanctuary stairwell. Scents floating off potted lilies celebrating this day. Distracting our noses.
Me, quietly book-ended by sons. Lanky height towering over shrinking self. Our hearts cradling family variants. Arriving on time for once. Not participating in today’s service. Missing one person in body, spirit, love. Forced imbalances creating new holiday traditions. Because of loss. Because of illness. Because human essence demands continual, dynamic change. Life ever flowing somewhere. Living in all directions. Forward one of many routes. Options include straight back and up above. Existence following verticals and sub-verticals as well like feeds and streams.
During Lent this year understanding the movement of Lot’s wife. Looking back froze her future. Into crumbling salt. Comprehending this can happen to us. So far doesn’t. Ongoing therapy eradicates salt. Revisiting the past orients us into living. Discovering alternatives. Lot’s wife perhaps wanting choice too. Deciding to resist orders. Ones requiring forced obligation in ancient womanhood. A constricted soul experiencing momentary freedom. Salt worth its weight. Me, not so interested in salt. Embracing all directions.
Sitting this Easter day surrounded by young men I once birthed. Now generating warmth and whispering commentary. Feeling in my heart truth inherent in hymn’s text, “Death hath lost its sting!”*
Where life is after death, still unclear about. Not important to me. Clasping today’s truth: there is life following death. On earth and whatever and where ever after is. Tony, there. Smiling. Laughing. Eyes bright with delight. Wonder. Love.
He, also living among us. Enclosed in sons’ DNA. One wearing his clothing. The other donning his smile. Both purporting his people wisdom. Our loved one existing within memory, healed clients, love-infused family, and friends. In every-man, proverbial sayings. Some framed, sitting on my nightstand. Others remembered at odd moments. Memory creating a chuckle, smile, or sigh.
“What just happened here?”
“How’s that working for you?”
“Get in the pit”
“Write a new narrative”
“Do you want to be seen or do you want to be noticed?”
“Don’t forget your toolbox!”
“That’s your humanity”
Tony uniting fully in Emmanuel–God with us. Joining clouds of witnessing saints billowing on before us. We on earth walking on foot. As human. Not salt. Not yet vapor. Bound with all condensed water masses. Together in one, big, holy, mystery. Called the body of Christ. Perhaps we finding home on earthly knee-caps. Tony residing on a cheek. Near the smile. Head in the clouds.
Down below rejoicing today in life. Tony’s on earth. His life now. Ours then. Ours now. Embracing what we do not know. Accepting God’s command to love one another during this time. Gradually opening out. Accepting all directions. Leading into the world loving friends and family again. Love wafting like flower’s scent. Replacing trauma’s reactions and sorrow’s emotions.
Holding grief near still. Naming it as love of another form. One creating salty, healing tears. Sliding down cheeks this bright, vibrant day. Love resurrecting life.
*Quote from the hymn, Thine is the Glory. Text by Edmond Budry. Tune by George F. Handel, adapted.
**Photo found on http://www.pixabay.com