Thursday, December 10, 2009

At the edge of the light

Just today's freewriting . . .

December 10, 2009 Rachel Naomi Remen—Kitchen Table Wisdom, p. 15

“It’s hard to trust something you cannot see.”

"When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught how to fly." Patrick Overton

Grammy had that saying in a frame on her bedroom wall, just above the nightstand where she kept her Bible and the glass for her teeth. If Grammy told me once, she told me three thousand times to trust the Lord to provide. But I’m having trouble believing the Lord is really taking care of me now. I miss Grammy. I need her here now to remind me not to be afraid. But ever since I saw her laid out so waxy looking in that coffin with the rose-colored lining, I’ve been having trouble trusting in the Lord. I wasn’t prepared to look at her all dead in that funeral parlor. Aunt Marilee dragged me up there to the front and forced me to look. I kept telling Aunt Marilee that I wanted to remember Grammy like she was alive, her soft skin, her smell like Pond’s cold cream and sugar cookies, her sparkling blue eyes. Now I’ve got that horrible image of Grammy in the box, not looking one bit like herself. She would have hated the way the funeral people fluffed up her hair and she would have hated all that rouge they put on her cheeks. And I think Aunt Marilee went to J.C. Penney’s and bought that old-lady mint green church dress just to spite Grammy. Grammy would have worn that dress over her dead body. Which, I suppose is exactly what she’s doing. Aunt Marilee was yelling at me in a quiet way in the lobby of Mr. Marsden’s funeral home. She said that I would never accept the finality, that’s the word she used, finality, of Grammy’s death if I didn’t see her dead. But I did see her dead, slumped down on the ground out by the clothesline when I got home from school on the first day of sixth grade. I didn’t get close to her because I just knew she was dead and death scared me. I just ran down the street and got Mrs. Grant because she was a nurse. She called the ambulance but she said Grammy had been dead for a while already and there was nothing anyone could do. They wouldn’t let my daddy out of prison for the funeral, but they told him. Maybe he cried; I don’t know. I’ve been wishing harder than ever that my mama was still around. My life sure took an evil turn back then. But Grammy took me in and gave me a home. She didn’t give up on my daddy either, though he was going to be in prison for all his life. Every night she prayed with me, said that if Jesus could forgive daddy then I could too, that Jesus taught us everything we ever needed to know about forgiveness. But how can I have faith now? Seems to me that God has taken away everyone who ever cared for me. I can hear Grammy’s voice telling me not to fear the darkness, to trust that the Lord will provide. But it’s hard to trust something you cannot see.

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