Wednesday May 12
I read late into the night last night about early grief. How little is written about it. How people write about “moving on, healing, recovery” but the true agony of early grief is rarely written about.
In my waking, my soul I listened, surrounded by the buttery yellow of the morning light under my eye lids.
A simple diagram is drawn by my hand on the first page of the Bible you gave me years ago, as I thought it a profound visual when it was explained. A circle. We are a body, the outer circle, with a mind an inner circle, and a soul the center of the circle.
C.S.Lewis says we get this wrong, we are not a body with a soul, but a soul living in a body.
This mystery is profound.
I watched water colors painting each aspect of our beings, each ring with experience. Rose and yellow for joy, orange for physical endurance, magenta for passion, deep red and purple for pain, brown and black for toxicity, blues for grief, and greens for growth.
I waited for understanding watching the colors and rings move behind my eyes.
I saw my circle and your circle, overlapping. Saw where the open spaces were that allowed our inner circles, our souls to overlap, dissolve into one creating unique colors, through shared experience and the of honoring each other’s uniqueness.
Christ a third perfect circle purified and magnified what is in our souls like a vibrant stained glass window. Someday I’ll try to paint what I saw and learned this morning.
Today’s Lectio Divina devotional instructions were to remind us what this practice is. First, we read the word, put the word on our lips (our body), listening for a word or a phrase that is particular to us. Then we repeat, put the word or phrase into our mind and meditate on its meaning. Next, we let the word sink into our hearts (our souls) and pray about it. Lastly we sit in silence and let the words go. From our mouth, to our minds and let it dwell in our hearts.
I wept at the morning circles I was being led through.
The reading John 16:12-15 The numbers are significant: The 16th your first day in Heaven, my first day in this new reality, the 12th today, the 15th my last day with you. You know how numbers usually elude me, yet here they are speaking.
“I have much more to say to you now, much more than you can bear. But when He. the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, he will only speak what he hears and he will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me. Because it is from me that he will receive what he is to make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said The Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
I have much more to say
More than you can bear
He will guide you into all truth
I feel a peace in that there will always be a heavenly conversation, that won’t be one way. Christ states there is much more He will say. I know enough from experience, no human could take all at once. It will be a daily conversation. And the words and colors will guide me in truth.
Then I opened my eyes.
I gathered flowers, watered and sat on the porch looking at our front door flanked by our wedding urns. Remembering how intentional I felt about them, about them being present at the ceremony and then stationed at our front door. The importance of the symbolism of the sacredness of our home, and the intentionality of who we welcomed together through the front door is deeply impressed upon my heart.
Not everyone understood this who entered, but we did.
I’m remembering a dream or a vision I had, almost instruction on how I was to interview witnesses regarding the abuse information. It was clear every witness was to come through the front door to our home. We were in complete agreement. This was sacred, finding truth, extending mercy and seeking justice.
Five years ago today-
We were in Venice, you planning our day of exploring. I was in wonder at what it must be like to live in such a place where the vegetable stands and the outdoor fish markets colors and shapes are arranged to become their own masterpieces.
We were searching for the water taxi dock to get to Murano and Burano, and I was capturing all the vignettes of Venice. I took so many images of doors.
water taxi 2003
The doors in Italy are as unique as the people, so colorful and elegant. The sky, the clouds and the water were so vibrant and spectacular, the glasswork fascinating and our meal was delicious of course.
As I am sitting on our front porch gathering up these images, a pair of butterflies twirl in a dance to the music of the wind chimes. I scroll to the next image, we are seated at a cafe in Murano, a giant butterfly on the wall behind me. I rest in your comforting presence, erasing time and weaving eternity through my heart. The butterflies seem to be flying through time itself.
The next image is of an arch and ornate ironwork I had taken that morning. I showed you the artwork I created combining this image and another, flowers from your father’s Olive grove and this metalwork. The flower image was taken 5/9/16 (our last Saturday together 5/9/20) the metal 5/12/16.
I showed you this image on our last day together.
It is sacred It is simple. It is significant.
I write today's scripture over my art, I write the words: much more to say… Spirit… Truth ..glorify.. is mine.
By the time I’m ready to share the photo of our meal and the butterfly it’s exactly the same time today as the time the photo was taken, 3:15. I didn’t try, it just happened. All these numbers, images and ideas offer comfort, peace and mystery in the moments I am living today.
Even so, I would do anything to have you here instead. All the circles, and seeing and sacredness have come with such unbearable sorrow.
Murano became a favorite place again as we spent the day watching the artisans work with glass and shopped for souvenirs.
We walked along the canals and I caught sight of something so curious, a plant growing out of a pipe on a cement wall. It made me laugh, such a determined creature to defy gravity and normality.
The skies turned lovely and stormy as we returned to San Marco to find orchestras dispersed in the square playing classics while people dined in the open air. It was as if we were walking through a painting. That was 5 years ago today.
In 2003 we were in the Boboli Gardens at the Pitti Palace, a place we had visited in May of 96’. We found the whole day could be spent meandering through the various garden rooms, climbing outdoor stairways, taking in the statues, fountains, flowers and fruits.
I captured only a few images in 03’, what I found I most wanted to remember: us at the top of the garden, surrounded by peonies, another under the trees where the children played that day, and another next to the fountains.
The most magical image is of you and the children in a garden tunnel, a fairytale experience. You are wearing your Marcoccia Vineyard shirt looking so handsome.
We are all there in that magical tunnel, our youngest safe within me.
This summer when we were trying to solve the issue of staking your vines on our island, I told our kids what I wanted. They weren’t sure it would work. I showed them the picture of you in that tunnel and then they understood and made it happen.
Two years before, 2018 we were loading wine barrels and tomato plants and Costco purchases heading home in our truck. You the master packer, have always been able to fit more than seemed possible into our vehicle. That was one of your super powers, the Master Packer.
2019, May 12th was Mother’s Day. We celebrated with Mexican bread, then spent the day at our son’s, everyone working together on his bathroom remodel. Loving each other by serving one another. Our daughter sang and played sweet music on her guitar. We relaxed in the evening and watched Forrest Gump, one of our very favorites. I cried, as always at how painful and beautiful life is.
Last year, today, an Angel was sent to walk us through this week, an answer to my desperate prayer. I listened. They didn’t know how bad it was. They knew it was bad, very bad the neurologist said. I didn’t know what that meant. He said you’d never be the same. I understood those words. Someone talked to me about wheelchair access at our home and rehabilitation locations and lengthy treatment times. I understood. An MRI to access what was happening to you. I understood. I thought you were coming home, and that’s all that mattered. I thought I was receiving information about how and when that would be happening. He showed me the images and all the words turned to mist inside the room and I felt like I might faint. A solid brick wall was erected just behind the skin on my forehead. As he hurled the words, they fell flat on the hospital floor. I held on to something he had said yesterday, something about not being able to really know until some time had passed, three days. I remembered those words, three days.
The Angel nurse took me home, made me food and tea. She put jasmine in my room and told me I could call the night nurse anytime to check on you. I don’t think I slept more than an hour.
When I called the nurse said you were the same, and he said, “You understand, he will never be the same.” That same nurse had told me I would not be admitted the next day because of Covid, didn’t I understand. I wanted to say,” Don’t you understand?! Don’t you understand what is happening!?”
But now bricks were falling on my heart. Instead I just said, “Thank you for taking care of him.” I meant it.
I waited for our Angel nurse to call me and let me know if I could come back inside the hospital to be with you.
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
….after three days he will rise.” Mark 9:31
I knew these words were about Jesus, but I prayed them, I begged them, for you.