It’s funny how life deepest questions and statements always pass through my mind at the most random times. Often two or three in the morning. Why couldn’t I think about these deep thoughts at 9 in the morning when the sun is up and I’ve had a cup of coffee? I suppose I don’t get to choose the when.
I was thinking about my dad. This time, about three years ago, was the last time I saw my dad alive. I went to D.C. to visit him during my fall break from school. It wasn’t much of a fun filled visit as Dad was in the hospital for the whole week, but I was glad to see him. We didn’t talk much. Sometimes that visit makes me cry more than the day he died. It was then that I saw my dad as a human. He was supposed to be the strong, witty, courageous, compassionate, life giving, encouraging, and corny joke tell dad I always knew.
That time he wasn’t. He was really sick. Cancer was invading his body.
I watched him do normal actives, which were a challenge for him to do. I watched as his eyebrows met, scrunched in the middle and then rose when he asked me for my help. It was a mixed sense of sadness and honor in helping him.
I haven’t written much about the details of my dad’s death until now because it made me cry. I hate crying. My face get red, my eyes swollen, and I cry ugly. I’ve heard from everyone who’s lost a parent, “You never get over the death of a parent.” Not best form of encouragement, but it’s true. The truth isn’t a bandage to cover up the wound, it’s more of an ointment to help it heal.
Three years later, I’m grateful for the truth.
The last day I saw him, I watched him nap on the couch. I would stare long as I sat on pins and needles waiting for what seemed like eternity for his chest to rise and fall. I had never felt so scared in my life. I was scared he was going to die at that moment.
I hope that one day, whether I’m healthy or not, that I’ll have someone who loves me enough to watch my chest rise and fall. To care for me the way my mother selflessly, lovingly, and courageously did for my dad.
I’m not sharing my story for offerings of “I’m sorry for loss,” or cause people to pity me. I don’t want your sympathies or pity, they’ve never helped me in the past and I’m sure they won’t be aid to me in the future. Sympathy and pity is really to help make those not affected feel better about the situation.
Empathy, however, is a welcomed thought.
I’m writing this in hopes to the find the ones who’ve experienced loss.
Sometimes, it’s nice to know you’re not the only one. You’re not alone in your sorrow. You’re not the only one who wants a do-over. You’re not the only one who’s watched life slip away. You’re not the only who feels like it wasn’t enough time. You’re not the only one who is surviving. You’re not the only one who feels helpless.
Those who have had a life taken away, you’re not alone.
That’s the truth.
I’ve been wanting to share more of my fiction based writing at least once a week on this dandy little blog, but I’m finding that it’s sometimes hard to share the things I write. Sharing my thoughts and opinions are one thing and often the easiest to share. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I know there will be people who agree with my stance. Maybe it’s because sharing an opinion is like putting a tangible border around myself. It’s creates a frame and allows people to see me within those barriers.
But to share my imagination with people is like removing those borders, taking myself out of the box, and release the unknown parts of my brain to people. I have a whole universe living in my head that’s full of ideas and possibilities, characters, choices, themes, plots, scenarios, births, deaths, life, love, danger, safety, feelings, rises, falls, and ultimately, the exposure of the human heart.
Excuse me… the exposure of my human heart.
It’s difficult to let it go and not think, “Can I write about this situation?” “Can I tell bit of my story through a character?” “What will people think?” “How will people see me?”
“Is this OK for me to write?”
“Is it OK for me to expose how I feel?”
The answer is yes.
The answer should always be yes.
Maybe it’s hard to say “yes,” because I don’t take myself seriously? Someone asked me the other day if I was a writer. I responded and said, “Well, I like to write.” My faithful friend butted in and quickly said, “Yes, she’s a writer!”
Maybe my “yes” would be bigger if believed in what I’d like to be… what others can clear see.
My “yes” may be be small, but maybe it was meant to grow?
I think so.
The point of life comes down to love. It’s the desire of every human. Love looks different for everyone. Some want to find that special someone who they will spend the rest of their life with. Others want to gain approval from their parents, obtain friends, have a family, or be favored by their boss. Whatever it may be, we’re all seeking for love and approval from someone.
How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. – Psalm 139:17-18
Whenever I’m at the beach, I always pick up a handful of sand and I think, “There are millions of grains of sand are in my hand right now and You love me more than this.” Then I look across the beach and think of the countless other beaches and deserts in the world. His thoughts towards me, me alone, individually, all by my lonesome, are more than that. It’s overwhelming to think that God’s thoughts are consumed by His love and kind intentions for me.
Times this analogy by seven billion and you have an idea of how much God loves His church. He loves everyone equally as individuals, but also loves us as a whole. For me, it puts His jealously and wrath into perspective. With the unfathomable amount of love that God has for us, it’s obvious that He wants us and He will fend for us when enemies come against us. With the amount of love that He has for us, it would be impossible for Him to simply stand on the side and watch us from a distance. If it were possible, OH, how His heart would ache!
Think about it. For those of you who are married, can you fully express to your spouse how much you love them in a way that they will fully understand the depth of your love? Probably not. There will always be more you want to say. There will always be more you want to do for them. You will always be searching for ways to serve them. You will always be wanting to support them and encourage them. You’re love will always be more than it was a minute ago.
The only difference between a spouses’ love and God’s is that God’s is complete, whole, and infinite. His love doesn’t need to be cultivated. Knowing that God’s love is fully matured and fully given to us, is there anything that could stop His love?
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. – Romans 8:35
Nothing. Whatever you’re thinking or scenarios you’re creating in your mind – God is bigger. His love is bigger. He loved you before you took your first breath, He loves you now, He loves you in the good times, He loves you through the bad times, and He will continue to love you into eternity.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me. – Psalm 139:5
Bad things happen to good people all the time. This is the nature of the world.
Love. This is the nature and the very character of God.
I want to be anchored in the latter. Anchored in His nature and character.
Anchored in Love.
“Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Is that the television you hear? Well you haven’t been home all day so you decide to check it out, thinking you left it on. As you enter the room you see the television is indeed on. And you’re already sitting there watching it. What’s going on here?” (http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/i-think-im-a-clone-now)
Closing the front door behind me, I hang up my coat in the hall closet. It had been a crazy week at work. I got off late from the credit union and I fully intend to spend my weekend wearing over sized sweats and my fuzzy bear slippers while I curl up on the couch watching reruns of the Gilmore Girls. Working with the public is exhausting. I set my purse on the side table and began to make my way upstairs to the living room.
What’s that noise?
It sounds like the TV. Did I leave it on? I don’t remember turning it on this morning. Who’s in my house? My heart is pounding I slow down. A nervous lump immediately forms in my throat and my palms start to sweat. I crouch low to the stairs and begin crawling up being as silently as possible. I make it to the top and peak over the last stair. I see the back of my chair with someone curled up wearing my sweats. What is going on? What kind of break-in is this? I saw the TV already playing my show.
I crawled to the back of the chair. What am I going to do? Do I pop out and scare them? Do I spray them with pepper spray? Do I call the cops- no, they’ll hear me. I hear my robber put something on the side table. I creep around and look up. I gasp. It’s my caramel butter pecan ice cream that I was saving for this weekend!
I pop up and grab the cup of ice cream. “Thief!” I yell. My robber flew off the couch, screaming. It was a woman judging by the sound of her screaming. She stood up untangling my yellow blanket from around her. She stops her fidgeting and looks at me.
I look at her.
We both start screaming.
It’s me. I mean it’s not me, but it’s me. She has my face, my eyes, my chin, my mouth, my mole on my her left check, height, and black hair! It’s like she is my identical twin. Except for the fact that I’m an only child.
Both of our eyes are wide and full of fear. “W-who are you?!” I say.
“Y-you’re me!” My twin stutters as she points at me.
“NO, you’re me and I’m… I’m me.”
We stay frozen in our tracks for another two or three minutes. I take a deep breath in and let it out. This woman isn’t attacking me for some reason, so I steady myself and calm down. “This is silly to be standing here like this.”
I roll my eyes. “Of course you do. You’re me.”
She rolls her eyes as well and asks, “So, Me, what should we do?”
“I think the first step is to find out why you’re in my house.” I fold my arms and stare at my twin.
“Excuse me?! I think the question is what do you think you’re doing breaking into my house?” Her eyebrows meet together and she folds her arms in the same way.
What? Now I’m just confused. “What do you mean your house?” I say.
“My house, like, I live here and I pay the mortgage on it.” She rolls her eyes, “But by all means, if you want to take over the payments, I won’t stop you.”
“That’s impossible.” I say. “I’ve been living here and making payment on this house.”
My twin looks at me and begins to move slowly towards the filing cabinet that is tucked underneath the desk in corner. “I’ll prove it to you.” She said as she reached for the filing cabinet.
“You can’t,” I huffed. “You don’t know the code to get into the cabinet.”
She crouches down, pushes a few buttons, and in seconds the filing cabinet opens.
“How did you do that?!” I exclaim.
“Because it’s mine.” She flips through a few documents and pulls out a folder. “Here it is.” She stands up and quickly walks towards me. I move back a few steps and she stops, “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“How do I know that?”
“Because you haven’t hurt me.” She says as she hands me the files. I open them. She’s right, it’s the mortgage papers. Good guess.
I couldn’t think or process anything with the noise coming from the TV. I put the files on the side table and grab the remote. I push the power button down and the right. I’ve been meaning to replace this thing.
“How did you do that?” She says curiously.
“The remote’s broken. You have to push it to the right for the button to work.”
“How did you know that?”
“Because it’s my remote!” I frustratingly.
We stare at each other. This is completely baffling and scary. I can feel my forehead wrinkle and my eyebrows come together. My hearts stops as I ask, “What’s your name?”
“You first.” She says. Her voice is a little shaky. She must be just as nervous to hear the answer.
I sigh again. If she really believes that this is her house, then she probably thinks that I’m the one that broke in. I hesitate and say, “Jessica.”
She gasps, moves over to the couch, and falls into it. I can hear her breathing quicken. It’s the same way mine does when I’m panic. She takes a few breaths in and looks up at me, “This… this is impossible.” She swallows hard. “That’s my name.”
“How is this possible?” I walk over to the couch and sit down on the other side.
“This is crazy. I’m an only child so we can’t be twins. We have the same everything, looks, family, and house. What do we do?” Jessica looks up at me as if I have the answer. She slides the tip of her finger in her mouth and nervously bits the nail. Is that what I look like when I bite my nails?
“I was hoping you might have an answer.” I lay back into the couch and stare at the ceiling.
“I think I’ll skip church tomorrow. We need to figure this out.” She mumbles.
I sit up quickly and look at Jessica. “What did you say?”
“Oh nothing, just verbally thinking. That’s all.” She takes her fingers out of her mouth, leans over, resting her elbows on her knees, and puts her chin on her her hands.
“No, something about church tomorrow?”
“Umm, yeah, I don’t think I’m going tomorrow. I don’t skip very often, but I think pending the circumstances, God’ll forgive me.” She says as she lets a short snicker.
“I’m assuming we go to the same church. First Methodist? I ask.
“That would be the one.”
“Is there some kind of event going on tomorrow? I don’t remember writing anything on my calender.”
She looks up at me with wide and confused eyes, “Umm, regular church service.”
“Jessica,” I pause. Does this fall into the category of talking to yourself? “Maybe you you have your days mixed up. Tomorrow is Saturday. There is no church.”
“No, today is Saturday. I got off work late last night, so sat in my chair all day in my sweats watching reruns of the Gilmore Girls? What day do you think it is?”
“Friday. I just got off work at-“
“Wellington Arms Credit Union?”
“Yes.” I’m creeped out.
“But their not open on-” She stops.(And that’s all folks! I intend to finish it… one day, but that’s good for now)