I have too many words to share.
The peach tree is in bloom. So is the willow tree. And the Bradford pear on the driveway. And the cherry tree.
The daffodils are in full bloom.
The bees are buzzing busily.
The trees along the stream look like something out of a Monet painting, subtle and soft.
The sights and smells and even the touch of the spring air on my skin makes me remember Philip. Sense memories of our days of courtship in Ft. Worth, the walks holding hands, the joyous hikes, young, him reciting me poetry, me-laughing at his silliness.
Funny how I had forgotten some of those memories that had been tucked away for safe keeping.
Yesterday I spent some time cleaning my room and listened to a Casting Crown cd. Something in it touched my spirit and it made me feel deeply. Rachel called and listened to me cry on the phone. I was wishing to cry with someone, but was afraid my friends would be tired of hearing me say I miss Philip. When the phone rang, it was a relief. I don't want to weary anyone, but thankfully the inner circle seems to understand. Julie listened and let me cry and talk and remember and question and talk some more. I have several people who are willing to go the extra mile with me. Why am I afraid of running them off?
In the afternoon I had to run Vasile's equipment back to him. Got a great hug and chat with Olimpia. Purchased some flowers at Lowe's to bless my soul. And some high tensile wire to bless my neighbors. On the way home I put in a cd by Eva Cassidy. A New Jersey Bible study friend gave it to me as a farewell gift when we moved down here. I enjoyed the music, but had put it aside for some time. I had forgotten how much her soul-filled voice moved me. When the song "I Know You by Heart" came on, I began to weep. Never before had that song touched me. Memories of the seasons we shared washed over me. I saw his face and heard his laughter and remembered laughing together until we cried. Fighting, working, sharing every aspect of our journey, from the easy days of courtship to the days of child rearing and caring for ailing parents, and starting a church and losing jobs and learning how to milk a cow.
So much, too much for words.
I miss him. I want to feel his hand grab mine. I want to look at his laughing face, the real warm one, and see him fuss at the kids for fighting over Easter candy and have him sit at the table with us, telling us stories and making us laugh as he retells adventures of Ireland and Manhattan and Japan.
So we moved the pews under the willow tree and set up an altar with saw horses and a barn door and tablecloths and a beautiful orange and silver obi. We had reams of flowering branches in vases. The children made a lovely procession in their Easter frockery, carrying the cross from Ireland, made from peat, the candles and the bread and wine. We sang. We prayed. We read the readings. We looked up words in the dictionary, like righteousness and talked about what in the world that really meant. We talked about gates and what their purpose is and why were they beneficial and how Jesus was the gate to our righteousness. We talked about the role of women in Christianity and how cool it was that the women got the angel's news about Jesus first. And how Peter, the betrayer, rushed to the tomb after he heard from the gals and how in Acts he, the betrayer, was the one telling the people that Christ came for the nations, every single one of them, and we even spent a few minutes trying to name as many nations as we could. Then we all laughed out loud when Boone shouted out "Texas!" We shared the great feast and then we shared a great feast, setting up our lunch tables outside, eating the Thomas' family turkey and Josh's amazing potatoes and Laura's asparagus with lemon and Dawn's bean casserole and baked beans and potato salad and rolls and MORE. The children hid and hunted dyed eggs since I declared plastic candy-filled eggs against my religion, and then we handed them chocolate (thanks, Julie and Dorothy and Laura!).
It was good.
It was rich.
Then we sat around and visited for hours and the kids and Jason and Josh did target practice, and Rachel let me cry some more.
Rose and I pondered the challenge of celebrating new life today as we mourn Philip's death. We all look forward to heaven. But we miss him now something awful and prayed for God to continue to comfort us.
Sharing our Easter celebration and our meaningful church rituals together with friends was a great comfort to me.
We are blessed.
And not alone.
I am thankful.
And I have so many other stories to tell, like Julie's amazing contribution to the well-being of the farm and chickens, by helping catch and move all the scattered flocks to one new home, involving a chute, new nest boxes and a HUGE fence surrounded by electric mesh. And all the pounds of butter she made for me, and the dishes she washed and the treats she brought and the love.
And the new shade of green reflected in the pond. And the little shoots of baby garlics coming up that Patrick planted last fall.
But sleep awaits and a new day tomorrow.
May we all share in the hope of the resurrection and new life as it springs all around us, even in the middle of our darkest hour.