Saturday dawned gray and cold on our Texan farm. The color and chill mirrored my emotions as I prepared to go into the city for a funeral.
I sat at my computer, wondering if I would have time to talk with our friend's beloved after the service. I imagined she would be surrounded by a sea of people wanting her attention, and wondered if I'd be brave enough to persist until I spoke with her.
But even if I were able to speak, I wondered if my mouth could find the words. Forever the words tumble and bumble out of my mouth, my helpless hands wishing to snatch them out of the air and stuff them back in. Forever I disappoint myself in expressing my heart while speaking.
I thought of all this... the people, the busy-ness, the bumbling... and I thought of my hands. The words from my hands bumble too, but I can sit with them for longer. They can be taken away again and moved and replaced until maybe, maybe an inkling of my heart is captured.
So my hands began to make words on the screen. I spoke my memories with my fingers.
I remember stopping at a steak restaurant with you both and thinking “I really and truly am in Texas now” as we searched to find something a vegetarian could eat.As I wrote, more and more memories came back.
I remember dancing with John at a Youth Night at church... I was dressed in a 1940’s outfit to match the theme. He told me my hair reminded him of his mother’s.Some were hard to remember.
I remember John’s tender hug when we lost our second child, his solemn voice as he pulled back, and looked deep in my eyes while holding on to me, “Are you okay?”I fumbled through. I printed. I brought it with me.
Perhaps this seems a strange thing to consider a joy sprinkle. This was never on my idea list. It wasn't on a hope-to-do or want-to-do list.
But our real life includes unexpected sorrows, and if it is joy, it can be found in the midst of sorrow. Where love can be found, joy will be found waiting nearby.
Writing this letter moved onto my need-to-do and right-to-do list.
In the end, I was brave enough. At the very end, in fact. After most everyone had left, I went to her and stood with her. We held hands and I walked her to her car. I slipped her the envelope with my letter as I left.
photo credit ronnieb