Sunday, it rained suddenly and briefly and made the most beautiful noise. These past incredible days, incredible for their warmth in late October – my body anticipates it colder – which it snapped for a bit and now has snapped back with the sun making surprise appearances.

Just as that cheeky sun was setting today, on my way out, I passed the most magnificent bright yellow tree. It was as if the leaves were all about to fall off, which – was because they are. Even if I caught it in a picture, (and I hope to try for it tomorrow) it wouldn’t do it justice, but – anyone who has been Midwest or East knows this phenomenon, it’s breathtaking. God’s fire without anything being consumed. All the more captivating because it’s so brief.

I didn’t know it, but that was the stage of my husband’s life when I met him again. He thought he had a few years, but the reality was that he only had several months. Taking in the tenuous beauty of that tree, made me realize that his outstanding love for me was the same.

Inside somewhere it hurt because the scale fell away that there is a person in my life now can love me like that. God loves me even more than he did, and I have history with people helps cultivate deep friendship that sustains, but that unique partnership – and perhaps God will get me to a place where I can do it again, but I’m not there. Nor has He given me the will to be there.

But all the unreality that goes with that – the projections, the false hopes, the comforts, have not actually convinced me that he can be replaced. And they just dropped. Like shedding skin. My unconscious mental coping wasn’t needed.

At the readings in small group for the Catholic church, we discussed from Wisdom “As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;”

It was written as if this happened after death, and maybe it does, but it seems to be happening to me after someone else’s death. And maybe a little of my own.

As painful as it is, it is an amazing relief to sit with the truth of the loss. This man who could make anyone and everyone laugh, had friends that would do anything for him because they knew he would do the same, and got me to love him for the rest of my life is not gone forever but the for now is still – after three years, shocking.

At the same time, just as I treasure the tree even though I wouldn’t dream of trying to keep its leaves on, I can’t say that I would want it any other way. Not that I have much choice in the matter and not that I always live that way, but the way it is is well with my soul tonight.


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