Sunday, May 26, 2013
We watched the shipping lanes on Lake Huron in front of Cedar Bluff today with renewed interest. After travel to Spain this last week and a half, three trips to Wisconsin to see my Dad, and then for his death and funeral, a quick trip to Arizona to celebrate Ed's birthday, well, I am feeling an incredible weight of weariness. So, I watch the freighters -- over a dozen of them today -- carrying their weight of cargo as they ply the Great Lakes and I think about the load that I have been carrying these past few months.
There is the challenge of time travel for me. I don't recover well from travel through time zones. It usually takes me a day per time zone to get over the brain fog and tiredness from travel, especially air travel through multiple time zones. I have always been like this, unable to bounce back from travel with vim and vigor. I need space and time to recover after a trip.
Then there is the huge wad of grief that is clogging my soul. I am missing my father in ways that I never thought possible. The awareness that I no longer have a focus for my blog is looming big in my mind. I see a photo, a flower and I think of him and of how I would describe it for him. From time to time, but almost daily, sobbing shakes me for a few moments. Honest to goodness, tearful sobs. The kind that make you lean over and just shake.
But there are moments of calm that pierce the sadness. Ed brought me a pile of mail that had come while we were in Spain. I sat in the great room late this afternoon and opened a three inch think pile of cards from friends who wanted to remember my Dad. Some were from his ministerial colleagues in Wisconsin, most of whom I got to know, but a few were from younger pastors whose lives were shaped in some small way by knowing Dad. I handled each card with care, admiring the handwriting, the choice of card, the little notes, the stamps chosen.
The weariness will lift, that I know. I will get some sleep. I'll walk and eat well and begin to rebound from the travel. The other incredible weight, that of grief, will take longer to absolve. It will fade slowly into admiration and appreciation and memory and, yes, a lonesomeness that one feels when losing a parent, especially the second parent.
So tonight I am like a freighter, with tons of care and tiredness, plying the shipping lanes of life, ready for a harbor and a good night's sleep.
Wanda Hayes Eichler