Monday, July 9, 2012

Grief with and without corn holders

For the past few days I’ve been walking around the house, sputtering and kicking inanimate objects that won’t hurt when I kick them. And I’ve been asking Mike where the hell he is. I guess I went into another ring of grief hell on the 4th of July, late in the afternoon. Although I was spending the 4th of July alone, doing nothing, I decided that I would honor the holiday—so I bought some really good hotdogs and got beautiful sweet corn at the farmers’ market. I was sitting on the back patio in the sweltering heat, shucking corn. And I started to cry. Corn was a Mike thing. He was a connoisseur of white corn and Chesapeake blue crabs. Corn had to be cooked in boiling water, in a covered pot, no salt, for exactly 7 minutes. He even bought me a set of those cheesy plastic prong things that you stick in the ends of an ear of corn. He claimed it was the patriotic American way to eat corn. I never knew. I grew up in a family that ate corn without the prong holders. I suppose it was an un-American activity. Once, a number of years ago, Mike (temporarily) broke up with me and I threw the corn holders in the trash because they reminded me of him. When he came back I had no more corn holders. He improvised eating corn after that and didn’t bother to buy me a replacement set.

So the corn shucking got me going. Damn, I miss him.

June 18th is his birthday. That day I went to Gettysburg and met Mike’s best friend Rich at the spot on Little Round Top where we had scattered Mike’s ashes in late April. I still have a hard time believing that such a strong man has been reduced to ashes that surely floated away in the rainstorm that came through later that night after we threw him to the wind.

But when I am despondent over his loss and pray to God for mercy on my grieving heart, I am reminded of God’s incredible mercy. Mike professed faith just weeks before he died. When I wonder if God ever listens to prayer, if He ever works miracles, all I have to do is to remember the day Mike was baptized. He was dying but he said it was the best day of his life. The best day of his life. Even better than having corn on the cob on the 4th of July. With yellow plastic corn holders.

No comments:

Post a Comment