Audrey didn’t nap at all today. For the second time in two weeks, I found her standing in her crib completely naked holding a poopy diaper. She’s definitely ready to use the potty- and had been – but has completely regressed since you died. So- it was a long afternoon for me with no nap or break.
Audrey seems to be playing by herself quite a bit lately which is a relief. Often while she does, I cry- while doing dishes, or while watching her from the kitchen as she plays in the living room. She spends most of her spare time working on that one puzzle- just like me.
I was thinking today about how I said yesterday that the dates aren’t mattering as much to me right now. For me- it’s all about place- and place is time like I said. Time is place. The markers are going to be all of the places I have yet to visit in this new time. Walking over my old footsteps from what is now a totally different life- a life completely in the past.
I wrestle with the spiritual aspect of things these days- the counselor had told me that this was a normal time to do that. Great- so you lose your spouse and get to go through a spiritual crisis at the same time- and yet, yes, this is exactly what happens and quite natural actually.
I was chatting with a very wise woman- also widowed at around my age- which is now many years ago for her- she told me she truly believes that you can see Audrey- all of the amazingly cute things she’s doing these days. She told me she thinks God is sad too. I’ve been getting that a lot these days from believers. And it usually makes me angry. God is sad? What kind of omnipotent God allows something horrible to happen and then is sad about it? And yet even as I ask this question, I’m aware that I sound childish and there is much more to it than that. She told me God will wait out my anger- just the way I am patient with Audrey. I told her I just couldn’t logically understand the new heavens and the new earth anymore- now that I really spend time thinking about it. She tells me, “It is coming. You don’ have to understand, it is all taken care of.”
I discovered there are a couple of tribute videos on YouTube of Dan playing recently. I decided to watch one while Audrey was still awake playing on my bed. I knew it would make me cry and it did. Audrey pointed, “Appa!” “Yes, it’s appa,” I said, weeping. The song played over the montage was Regina Spektor’s “The Call.” I think it was written for the movie The Chronicles of Narnia. “No need to say goodbye,” ends the chorus. When it ended, I heard Audrey mumbling. She was repeating it- something relatively new she does now: “No need goodbye,” she said when I asked her to repeat what she was saying. She is amazing Dan. Amazing.
Earlier at dinner, she started saying some things that I’ve been saying for months to her, but she’s never articulated herself. She likes to joke and say the word “Apoop” instead of apple. She has a great sense of humor. So, the game goes like that- she says that word, then I say, “Yucky. You mean apple!” Repeat a few more times until I feel kind of brain dead.
But tonight- after she said it- I was cooking- crying into the frying pan of bulgogi someone had marinated for us- and didn’t answer back- then I heard her say, “You mea ap pul!” “What did you say?” I asked excitedly. She smiled and repeated the words proudly, “You mea ap pul!” And I realized that she was doing my part as well.
What fascinated me is something I knew all along- that is now very apparent- Audrey has been understanding and comprehending so much for so long now- she just couldn’t articulate it. Now she gets to show me she’s been getting it. Now I get to see that all of my hard work- all of the talking I’ve been doing- explaining, teaching- is bearing fruit. I am hoping that life is kind of like that- or grief at least. That while I only hear silence in response to all of these weighty questions- and while I suffer frustration and anger…I am taking it all in. I am listening. I am learning. And while the world appears to be a place of utter sorrow, while injustice goes on, and we humans endure one hardship after another- there is also something going on beneath the surface- and when it is revealed- everything will be understood.
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- in a flash- in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” 1 Cor 15. 51