I remember sky. Hanging upside down by my knees on the swing set in the back yard. Wide open blue -- the feeling of wanting to fall into it, to escape everything. The desire to float and not be captured and held down by grief. I remember sitting in gray rooms with dead bodies, old people I prayed with and for and just watched breathe until they didn’t, more than I can remember. I remember the first one, an old man who was a retired minister who had lost a son. I haven’t really lost my son, it only feels that way sometimes. I see his face when we video chat and I wish I could reach through the screen and touch that one strand of hair curling onto his forehead. I remember the fights and the crazy and the ER visit when we thought he had overdosed. I remember his songs, the covers he played “Don’t Forget Me” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the songs he wrote himself. He played a new one for me when he called me on Mother’s Day from the other side of the world. A song about how we are all connected. Yes. Always. He is doing well and I am trying to do well and most of the time I am. But sometimes when I am shopping for something I really don’t need a song comes on the overhead in the store; a song he played in the living room: “Hey, there Delilah” and it’s like I drop my heart on the floor where it shatters into a million pieces.
I am a writer, a storyteller, a singer who plays a little harp. A sinner, saint, wife, mother, sister, daughter, chaplain, recovering people pleaser....how long do you have?