Sunday, March 18, 2012

18th March 2012

By Gil Abrantes from Portugal (IMG_6971.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (],
via Wikimedia Commons

There are very few things that I enjoy now that don’t specifically involve either church or family. One of them though, is Grand Prix. So today was the opening F1 race in Melbourne and this new season promised to be a rather stop go affair with free-to-air BBC withdrawing from half the races. It felt like one more thing in my life was changing in a not so good way. Yes I know it’s not that big a deal, but it’s the only spectator sport I take much interest in and really I doubt if I watch TV for more than 3 or 4 hours per week, on average. So subscribing to Sky cannot be justified and I’m not sure why I even bother with a licence as I could avoid live TV altogether without much effort. Anyway, today I was invited out for lunch at my eldest daughter’s and they offered to watch the race highlights programme with me. The surprise was that it felt like a normal length race and was just as enjoyable as ever, especially as I instinctively root for Jenson Button who drove a perfect race win. But I still miss Jane’s fervent encouragement of Lewis Hamilton as she usually watched each race start. Within minutes she would be horizontal and snoozing on the settee waking only to ask about the final result. But then she’d sit engrossed for the Red Button behind the scenes ‘soap opera’. I have to admit that that could at times be far more entertaining than the actual race.

One problem I’m finding right now is dealing with the minutiae of life. I’m a raw beginner at housework. Jane, for some reason lost in our early history, picked up most of the chores; so I mended the broken, she cleaned and polished the dusty. And she became proficient. I didn’t. And now I feel awkward wielding a duster, and very tearful because I can so clearly see Jane moving ornaments around whilst working. She always knew where they belonged as well. I don’t. The mantelpiece display I had to construct from scratch caused one of my daughters to remark in a complimentary way recently. I was surprised she said she liked it and asked why. Her response was that it was ‘different’. It sure is! I haven’t a clue. My home is filled with countless memories of Jane as we lived here for over thirty years. Everywhere I look I can see into the past and remember our life together. But I’m gradually changing things, building new memories, building a new life. My house is being remodelled with a new way of living and new possessions. Jane never saw my bookshelves, the latest decorated room or our daughter’s wedding photos. She can’t proof read or censor my blog anymore. She doesn’t see my son and I sitting down together for an evening meal. That would have especially pleased her. His cooking skills and creativity remind me very much of her own. I can see her smiling now. My eleven year old grand-daughter is turning into a young woman. Another year or so and all four of our grandchildren will be at school. No little one to sit on knee and read to. The eldest are both totally absorbed in iPod world. Jane is missing all of that and much more. But I’m not and I love it. And I will embrace this new life as it is set before me.

Yes the more that life unfolds around me the more I’m building memories that do not include Jane. Of course that can be seen as sad, but it hurts to remember Jane being involved in everything I ever did. So it’s good to move on. I cannot function on the edge of tears all the time. I gave my heart to Jane many years ago, forever. But that love must now be ‘sealed’ away for a different life in eternity. It’ll always remain, nothing can ever change that. It’s just that I no longer have any way to express it in a practical way. I’m not into building shrines and the like, Jane’s legacy is to be found in the way my life and that of others has changed through knowing her, as well as in the family we grew together. One day soon I’ll draw a line in the sand to step into my new future. Grief is for a season, not a lifetime. No matter the measure of love.

I guess I will always shed a few tears for Jane and my loss of such a special companion, but that must become an occasional ‘special moment’, and not the continual almost daily outpouring of grief that I live now. I just have to finish this particular grief journey, leaving nothing undone that should be done. And my heart is beginning to grow warm again. There are people I care about, things to do, places to be and all the rest of it.

Psalm 30:5 ‘Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.’ (NLT)

No comments: