November 23, 2011Nitty Gritty Reminders

I’m here in Columbus, Ohio with my son, Jonathan, his dear wife Carol, and my mother who flew in from St. Louis. Enjoying having time together… It’s a special treat to spend this holiday together.

This is one of those firsts. The first Thanksgiving holiday in Forty Years where Marilou and I are not together. The first Thanksgiving of being a “widower.” The first Thanksgiving where I don’t have this all to share with her.

And then there were those nitty gritty reminders, like the movie we saw today. It is a good movie. It is “THE WAY by Emilio Estevez. It’s about a successful Ophthalmologist whose son dies in a terrible accident in the mountains of France as he was just beginning a pilgrimage on a route from France to Northern Spain. Martin Sheen, as the father, has his sons remains cremated, and decides to finish the pilgrimage his son had started. All along the trek, he has the ashes of his son, and stops at certain points and spreads the ashes, finally ending at the sea, where he empties the plastic bag of ashes into the sea.
There were a couple times I thought of almost walking out…. it was a good movie, I would recommend it, but every time Martin Sheen, as the father, placed or flung those ashes of his son, my mind went to my task now just two weeks away. And imagining how I will feel as I travel to Brazil where Marilou and I spend July of 2010, on prayer mountains in Brazil seeking the presence and face of God. I pictured and wondered how I will feel when I stand on that hill in Sabara, where we pitched that prayer tent and spent two different days on the hill in prayer and worship. How will I feel? How will I do it? I don’t have a plan, I’m just going to do it…somehow.  How will it be when I stand on top of that mountain in Algodao de Jandaira, and throw her ashes to the wind in the spot where we stood. The place where in 2008, I was on my knees being prayed for by these dear Brazilian brothers and sisters.
How will I feel when I go to the beach in Joao Pessao and walk on the beach where my camera was drowned and I scatter her ashes to the sea… how will it be?

The nitty gritty reminders are those sand in your teeth kind of real elements of life that remind you that something is different about you now. YOU ARE ALONE.

Yea, I know… I’m not really alone, I have God, I have family. Absolutely, Absolutely!!!! Amen and Amen, …  BUT…. there is a sense that I am still alone. No one else in that theater knew the stinging pain that was coursing through my body as I watch him scatter his sons ashes into the sea and empty that plastic bag. Only those who even know what that bad of ashes is really like, can relate, or know.

An yes, absolutely, I know that the Lord is with me. As I have written previously, He is so much closer now than ever, very before. Abba and I relate on a whole different level now. It’s hard to explain. Even today as I was reading about the Father giving up His Son to bear the crushing weight of our (my) sin, I related to that in a whole new way. Abba, “Daddy” is a lot closer to me, and I to Him. But there are still those little nitty gritty reminders that…with all of this I have…. I still don’t have…her…

…Till next time

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