At night I often am awake in the inky darkness. The sleeplessness that I experience is not unique to me and laying with my head on the pillow, eyes wide open happens to many people, grieving and not. The still nighttime is both comforting as Julia is peacefully asleep and I pray her dreams are happy and carefree. But for me laying still in that quiet I am free to think and wonder and question where I am right now in my life. Wesley and I had hoped and dreamt of so much that is now gone, like a book half-written I’m now charged with telling a story that has changed plots and characters and is not filled only with the optimistic tale it seemed to contain in it’s early pages. There is sadness in the pen that writes now.
Sometimes the reality that I am faced with when the world is hushed can be quite daunting and seem much larger than I can handle. I worry that I let Julia watch too much TV and she might lose her love of reading; that I will forget even the most mundane detail about Wesley because every memory and nuance is precious and I worry that the worn and tired face that stares back from the mirror will be heartbroken forever. And then I see the light.
We live on a large clear lake filled with fish and frequented by herons, geese and egrets with houses that surround it. During the day young boys and girls can be seen fishing on the grassy banks and there are kayaks that glide quietly through the water. At night it is dark and quiet with the only sounds being crickets and frogs singing in the night. It is a halcyon place to be and one that Wesley loved dearly. One of our neighbors across the lake often leaves their back porch light on at night and their light shines across the lake reflecting against the black water and as I look out my window I see it flickering and often my eyes fixate on it late at night.
That light and the darkness around it is much like where my life is right now. I have a beam to help guide me but all I can see is the twinkling in the darkness. I’m separated by wide water and I cannot cross over to hold the light myself. But it is only in the dark of night that I can see it shining for me. In the morning light it is obscured by the sun and other activity but is there for me when in the midst of night, both physically and emotionally, that I can see it. Much like this electric bulb that someone forgets to turn off night after night I feel that the gulf of grief and death separates Wesley from Julia and me, but if I look in just the right way I see his light burning across the divide. The candle he holds of his love for us will not burn out and gives me a point of light to focus on when the doubts become too great and the questions too many, Perhaps as he looks across the great waters he sees the light of my love shining as a beacon for him as well. My heart swells with hope and love before sleep once again steals me away.