On Sunday, I had a conversation. And I started crying. Right out of the blue. In a random church classroom. On a regular, ordinary afternoon.
I was speaking with a man who knew my dad. He knew him well. And while our whole conversation wasn't about my father, some of it was. And I watched this man's face as he spoke of memories. He smiled as he remembered and he said wonderful words.
And that's when the crying began.
Because sadness and love and grief have this strange, twisted dance they do. They often can get tangled together and they're a hard combination to carry. They get so intertwined sometimes that they make life feel just a little too heavy.
He spoke only ordinary words. In an ordinary way. But he smiled at the thoughts. And in that moment I clung to those words for survival. I wanted to drown in the "If only's..." and the "What if's...".
This man knew my dad.
My dad was my world.
Not all of it, no. But he held one of the strings that ties me together. And now that he's gone, a part of me has unraveled. And no matter how I try, I can't get the string to tie back into it's proper place.
So that's when the crying begins.
When some one, some thought, some smell, brushes against the part of my soul where that string used to hold firm and steady. The string that smells of Saturday morning biscuits and grits.
Even now, 2 days later, I can't seem to swallow the sadness back down. It's decided to take a seat and rest front and center for a while. Against all reason, it makes my mind wish, with everything I've got, for more time with him.
For a phone call to hear his voice.
For his counsel on how to endure it all.
For a way for my soul to feel whole once again.
But instead, I take a deep breath and let it out slow.
And I promise.
Again and again and again.
To live as he taught me.
And to love as he gave me.
You know all those strings you've got? The ones that keep you held together? The ones that bear the weight of all you are?
All of them.
Just as they are.
Your soul will thank you.