You know it's been a long time when you start typing your blog address and auto-fill doesn't finish it for you. Part of me is sorry to you happy few who actually keep up with this blog; you've probably turned into a sad few in the 4 weeks since I last posted. (In fact, between writing a draft of this post and posting it, my dear boyfriend commented that I should post again.)
But the rest of me is okay with the break, because I needed it. Sometimes there simply are no words. And sometimes the story is best told through another story, which I'll do now.
About a week before I graduated high school (so, almost exactly 2 years ago) our very dear and very elderly next-door neighbor passed away. She was a lifelong member of our church, a widow with several sons and one daughter (if memory serves), and of course quite a few more distant descendants. She was related to our permanent deacon (his aunt, I believe) and he used to come visit her, riding on his motorcycle. It was always funny seeing him in street clothes. (It was also funny seeing a 60-something deacon on a motorcycle.)
In the days following, her sons hung out in the house next door, having what my mother called an "Irish wake." (Irish wakes involve beer and cigarettes, apparently.) They were very nice fellows and we got on speaking terms with a few of them. After all, they were always out on the porch and my mother is a friendly woman. The day before my graduation ceremony, one or two of them came over with baked goods and absolutely insisted that we take some--they were being inundated with treats and couldn't possibly eat all of them.
After the appropriate protests, we accepted the cakes and, being resourceful (and not really wanting to eat 2 or 3 cakes ourselves) we took them to the graduation and they were happily eaten by various members of our homeschool group at the ensuing party.
The image struck me and has stayed with me ever since. Death and life, an end and a beginning, linked together by a couple of cakes.
That's where I am right now, walking between death and life. That's where we all are, I think. The Cobbler commented to me earlier today that people tell you to prepare for happy times and sad times, but they never tell you to prepare for the saddest and happiest times occuring together.
I don't know how much I'll be posting; perhaps my writing will come back to me. Perhaps I will spend another month sitting and watching and praying. If anybody but the Cobbler even reads this, I ask you for prayers for a number of friends and family members who are going through sad times right now. I ask for prayers for myself and the Cobbler, not because we are in a bad place right now, but because we are in a good place. Life isn't unmitigated sunshine and roses, but we are actually doing okay; better than okay. It amazes me and it frightens me a little. Life is a very big thing. Bigger than I ever anticipated it being when I stood up and made a speech about life two years ago. So, pray for us, that we know where to go from here and how to get there, and that we hold to God no matter what kind of time we're going through.