It’s virtually impossible for me to take naps during the day, and it’s not because Ruby won’t nap. She does more than her fair share of sleeping during the day. When I feel like a nap, I coach myself before lying down. Think happy thoughts…thoughts about what Drew’s doing in heaven; who he’s talking with; what tasks he’s been assigned; what our reunion will be like when it’s my time to go home; and all of the wonderful things associated with heaven. My thoughts always begin there, but won’t stay there. My mind wants to go back to my darkest hour– to the moments in the truck, during and after our accident, the longest ambulance ride, and to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. My brain replays every image until I’m forced to give up the idea of a nap, and I crawl out of bed, or roll off the sofa.
The thoughts started coming one night, and I felt like doing something about it. Being the Language Arts teacher that I am, I decided to free write. Free writing is when you just write what you’re thinking or feeling without concern for spelling, punctuation, or grammar correctness. The idea is to take out the hesitation that causes writer’s block. My students usually like free writing because it’s impossible to mess up (an easy ‘A’). Below is my free writing/free form poetry/whatever you want to call it. I wrote it as an ‘oh yeah?’ to the evil one. Some lines, especially in the first part, might not make sense to anyone but me. They don’t have to. I’ve lived each line and know very well what each word means. I found this exercise freeing. I encourage you to try it sometime. Caveat: the first part is dark and depressing. That’s when Satan is under the impression that he’s won; but, no fear, Our Jesus has overcome, and you’ll see that if you keep reading.
Hell is my world out of control
in slow motion,
It smells like smoke, gasoline, and rain.
It feels like sticky blood tangled in hair.
Hell is my baby immobile, wedged
Between angels and demons,
Hell is a strong, calloused hand reaching for unseen glass,
It’s leaving. an unanswered “I love you”, a stroke of the arm,
Hell is a pair of eyes unable to open,
a solitary, endless ride tied to a wooden plank.
Hell is hopeless separation
Where dreams are stolen and love buried.
Heaven is reunion.
Heaven is a treasured laugh and smile,
a long awaited dance.
It is everything new, flawless, perfected.
Heaven is a child climbing with no fear;
exploration without caution.
Heaven is Lion and Lamb at peace.
It is a gift from our father; the end of all evil.
A beginning to eternity.
An endless hand-held stroll, an effortless song.
Heaven is Drew and Ruby together, with me.
Heaven is home. Love. Tangible.
Heaven is hope answered, dreams realized.
Bodies restored, lives shared.
Undeserved but longed for.
Unimaginable but real.
Heaven is a reason to live and the hope of dying.
Beautiful, you have a way with words that speaks to a person’s soul.
Allison I love you and hate that you have had to deal with this, but I praise God that you know him, his love, his cleft in the hard times, his loving arms, and most of all the knowledge that Drew is safe and you will see him one day!
Amen, and I look forward to that!
Thanks for sharing your honest words, Alli. Love you.
Al, don’t you wish we had better control of our thoughts? I know exactly what you mean about trying to make yourself just have happy thoughts but sometimes we cannot keep them in that positive place……I admire you for sharing your thoughts (helps me to realize that things I experience and feel are probably normal). Love you, MeMe
I can relate in only the way another young widow could relate. I lost my husband September 2011. Hang in there.
I think about you and your family often. I know it might be weird, but you guys are often on my heart! I’m glad you’re blogging and I am sure people will be blessed from this!
I understood every word – very vivid! Thank you again for sharing – my sweet. Your ending is perfect! Loved your last line.
Al, thank you for sharing your words with us. I find myself looking everyday for a new post. You are my hero. Love you!
Thank you for sharing! I find hope in your strength! You are an amazing woman and Ruby is a lucky little lady!