I’ve been listening to and meditating on Lectio Divina since Ash Wednesday which continues after Easter from the Catholic lectionary.
John 16:5-11 the verse numbers happen to reflect the date today.
I note Thursday coming is Ascension Day.
Listen and meditate on what stands out are the instructions:
“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, grief has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. NASB
Now I am going-
Grief has filled your heart
I tell you the truth
I will send him( the Helper) to you
He will convict the world of sin
I am going to the Father
I found peace in the acknowledgement of my enormous grief, and the truth that it is the Holy Spirit who will make things right, and that you are with the Father, with Christ as am I. This is called the Mystical Union. I learned that this year, and it was a great comfort to my desperate soul.
And then I dreamed
Homemade candy fell from the sky,
I ate a piece and watched you with the all our boys.
I think you were all playing with a remote control plane, and you were working, doing something on the property, walking back and forth between work and play.
Two of your friends were there as I could feel the day passing.
Inside my being was a physical desire to stop time.
I didn’t see you and tried to run to find you, my whole body was heavy unable to move.
Our friend saw me struggling, and assured me, “We’ll find him. He told us to make sure to gather all his children. That it was important we make sure you are all together for the meal.” They both looked at me confirming they would honor you and do what you had asked of them.
I felt peace.
I made my way to the kitchen, you were there at the sink, clothes soiled from work, your face uncharacteristically pale. I knew what was coming.
I touched your cheek, held your face in my hands,
“Please stop now”.
I kissed you
“I was just going to finish…”your voice trailed.
“It’s not important”, I whispered and I kissed you again. You held me, cradling my head in your hand and we swayed as you kissed me so tenderly. Everyone was there.
I felt your nose nudge mine, looked in your eyes, saw their blue and the tiny islands floating on their sea.
“I thought we could dance to our song” I shared.
“That’s a good idea,” you smiled-
“You want to play it now or later?” my voice somehow communicating all the adoration I have in my heart toward you.
You didn’t answer me, just held me, and kissed me and swayed as if the music was already playing.
And I woke to this day with this gift in a dream.
I realized I’ve been grieving all my life
Grieving the loss of my Dad
Grieving the loss of my grandparents
Grieving the loss of my innocence
Grieving the loss of my voice
Grieving the loss of my identity
Grieving the loss of my self worth
You were the first one to witness my grief, to honor the truth of my story without trying to rewrite or reframe it.
You , you were the best Dad. You stayed and held their hands and gave them safety and love and restored the place in my heart that trusts.
Grandparents being near was important to you for our children, you gave them the gift of family.
You grieved with me over my loss of innocence.
And you listened to my voice.
You helped me grow in my identity.
And saw me as worthy of all your love, You gave me dignity and honor, You held my grief with me and helped me heal. Slow and steady and faithfully.
And now I’m grieving you
You my Love
You that made everything right.
All that you gave, All the love and listening, All the prayers and leading, All the memories and now the dreams, Is how we will hold this grief.
I am not alone in this grief
You are here
Even so, it is so agonizingly lonely
I stripped our sheets. God knows if I hadn’t stripped them that morning a year ago I never would have washed them again. I’m grateful for that simple rhythm of our household, wash on Monday, that has allowed me to sleep in our sheets.
I gathered purple this morning
Walked where you walked
Breathed your air
And filled my basket with today’s gifts from Eden
Followed the path I walked last year, as I gathered and grew in anticipation,
Of reminding you of joy
Of our very land reminding us
In blooming purple
We are of Heaven
Meant to extend honest loyal love
To each other, to our family, to our community
This IS our identity
And there is such joy in that, despite the pain
This morning along with purple
The garden is blushing profusely
Remaking my bridal bouquet
That held its own secret message from my heart to yours
A ladybug appears and crawls along the black lace I have worn this past year as I arrange the abundance. My hands and the flowers seem led by eternity. The purple is weeping and reaching embraced in all the shades of white. A pair of pink roses, as if twin hearts, one is fallen and framed in the weeping, the other balanced on the abundance while a grape tendril stands steady in the background. I’m unsure which one is you, and which one is me, it seems both. I watch the arrangement take shape and let it embrace me, knowing it’s message will strengthen me in the coming days.
Five years ago this morning we woke up in one of the most romantic cities in this world. You took a picture of me looking out the window anticipating the day, golden Gemini angels watching over us.
A drizzly day greeted us as we headed for Piazza San Marco. The birds remembered you. With no food to offer, just your strong hands open and welcoming, I watched amazed as wings surrounded you.
We made our way to the Doge’s Palace taking in the iconic architecture and water vehicles as we walked. As we toured the palace I captured particular images that spoke to my soul.
A colonnade that seemed to be made of mirrors, of endless reflections.
A view to the outside world framed in darkness.
A mother and her children surrounded by beauty and growth, protected by angels.
The receiving room was immense with heavily populated murals framed in ornate gold. The sheer amount of art was overwhelming. As if in a tunnel, I was drawn to three particular pieces.
St. Catherine’s mystical marriage to Christ.
A woman being freed from her chains in the heavens.
And a woman turning from all the world around her to attend a child, I realized later her hand is lifted, she is directing him to pay attention and he is afraid, my heart is sad for both of them.
We played behind ancient columns taking a photo before the docent turned the corner.
I created a piece of art from these images last May and shared the completed piece with you exactly 1 year ago yesterday. It was one of our last conversations. A compilation of beauty you had gifted me that spanned across time and space. I told you it was as if God were revealing myself to me. I didn’t really understand what it meant. Riding on a dolphin, St. Katherine walks on water in my drawing. The triad of doors in the background we passed this day 5 years ago. I would learn this last year, dolphins symbolize Christ. I would learn this last year how everything is connected in mystical ways. I would learn this last year how to walk on an ocean of tears riding on the many ways Christ chooses to reveal himself, whether I recognize it or not.
The Keeper of All time has arranged these days, these hours. I’ve wondered at the mystery of it all. I have come to realize it is not a mystery to be solved, but one worthy of recording.
On this day, in 2003 you drove us to Florence. We arrived late and after settling us into our room you ran across the street to get an espresso. I watched you from the window. You felt so far away, being in a foreign city. I watched and waited and wondered what it was like to be you. I wondered at how you were mine and I was yours in this great big world.
Three years ago, on this day, we rose early to spend some time at your parents. We walked to the church you were baptized in, the one we both attended in our childhood, yet never meeting. We spent the evening reminiscing, going through slides of your childhood. It was a beautiful spring day.
Last year you said good morning, we exchanged I love yous and you kissed me goodbye.
Today feels like all those days and more.
I think that’s how I will survive
Each day will be all the days with you
Royal in Reflection