Two months ago my mouth was dry. My whole body felt as dry as a desert. My hands were trembling and I knew.
Two months and one day ago, I was writing in my blog. Philip was reading to the kids. We were chatting about this and that and tired and getting ready to go to bed to be ready for another day. The snow covered the ground. The cold felt interminable. We slept with many blankets and made sure to load the woodstove one last time so the house wouldn't get down below 38 degrees in the morning.
Today we are not cold. The trees are full of leaves. The grass is growing in thickly. Not only is the snow gone, but so are the daffodils and the peach blossoms and the cherry blossoms. The radishes are growing. The first crop of lambs are monsters compared to their little newborn cousins. Their little tails are about to fall off. Dulce and Carmelita are ready to be weaned.
Well. I am ready for Dulce and Carmelita to be weaned. If you heard their plaintive cries to their mommas over the barnyard fence you would know they are not ready to be weaned.
Two months ago we had not yet heard one single peeper.
Today I milked and checked animals and garden and chatted with our cow share people and washed dishes and washed clothes and had kids do a math lesson and ran an errand and sat in the cemetery listening to Philip's Gram Parsons cd and thought about him for a few minutes. Today I ate supper and forced myself to look at pictures of Philip's smiling face on the bulletin boards that we have yet to take apart from the funeral and was in shock that he could still be gone.
I miss him.
After the Bible study ladies went home I returned a call to our neighbor from the other side of the ridge and down the road. He had a cow give birth to twins and she would only take one of them. He knew we were milking and wondered if we would want to take a calf and raise it. Could he bring it right over?
We have milk. We have little girls who love messing with baby animals.
I said yes.
Tonight we have a new little fellow moved into the stall next to the ewes with their little baby lambs. He is the color of dark chocolate, at least that is what he looked like in the dim light of the barn. Big and strong for a twin. He has a mama hen and seven little chicks to keep him company, as they live in the feed bucket hung on the wall of his stall. He drank a pint of milk and that was all he wanted, but I have a feeling that tomorrow morning he will decide that the bottle is significantly better than a mama who won't let him drink.
Life is a great mystery to me. Philip was here and now he is not. Winter was here and now it is not. The children were teeny and now they are not. The seeds were placed, like little specks of dirt, into the soil, and now they are sending up green shoots that will turn into food for our table.
Mystery. How can life and death be so intertwined and intermingled? How can life be sweet and miserable all at the same time? I don't know.
Why do I even try to write it all down when all I can capture is a crumb or two? I don't know.
I feel like a tottering toddler. Today's Psalm was Psalm 37. Verses 23 and 23 made me think of a toddler stumbling, but being held by his father's hand: "The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand."
I am counting on being held by the hand while we stumble along in the middle of this mystery.
Did I say I miss Philip? That I can't believe he is gone? That he was too alive? That we shared too many things for him to disappear? That even though I am not mad at God and I am glad that Philip no longer suffers pain, there is a huge gaping hole in our house right now?