Calendars, the first thing I do in the morning and multiple times through my day I look at my calendar; what is coming up next? Where do I need to be and when? What do I need to complete that in all honesty I haven’t even started? All of us live by the calendar it seems to drive us, you know the Tyrrany of the Urgent…sometimes I have a love hate relationship with my calendar although it keeps me somewhat organized and on time, it does not always allow me to stay as long as I would like or to look out the window and daydream of days past.
I have had a devotional calendar, you have seen them, each day has a scripture or a reading and a brief word of encouragement that sets you on your day. But I have stopped flipping that calendar, it is stuck on June17th. The passage for that day was from Song of Solomon 3:3b, “Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
I had hung up the phone from talking with my daughter Miriam, she had just gotten out of work and was on her way home, she and I had planned to spend some time together, go out to eat maybe a movie. I loved that about my kids, even as young adults they still enjoyed hanging out with dad. That was the last conversation I had with Miriam. An hour later I received a phone call to come to the hospital emergency room, Miriam had been in an accident.
That is the day my calendar stopped. Every morning I read that verse, “Have you seen the one my heart loves?” I dial her phone to hear her voice on the message, I go to her room to see if she is there, when I see her friends I want to ask if they have seen Miriam. I always have ice cream in the freezer, it was her favorite daily treat, I catch myself starting to think or ask, “When will Miriam be home?’ Then I realize she will not be here, she is home in the arms of our Heavenly Father. I believe that with all my heart, but she is not here with me and my heart aches.
My calendar stopped, everyday is June 17th, but time marches on. Summer turns into fall and the beauty of fall will change to winter and winter….winter some day will be spring. But today it feels like the bitter cold of winter, my life is forever changed. I now live with a hole in my heart, nothing can fill or replace the hole. This hole is deep sometimes dark and can be lonely, if I do nothing it can suck me into its isolation and silence. You see this hole is grief, it has been with me since the day my calendar stopped fifteen years ago. I still long to see the one my heart loves, to hear her laugh, to seer her dressed up and ready to go out, to have her place her hand in mine as we walk down a hallway or sidewalk.
My calendar has stopped, but life hasn’t, it still moves on, still calls me to turn the page. Grief is that hole in my heart, it does not go away but it does get better. Grief is learning how to live with a hole in my heart, how to cope, some days how to put one foot in front of the other, how to remember and honor, grow and even be changed by having had the privilege to love. But, it is also making the choice that although I could turn my back on tomorrow and live yesterday, Or I can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
David L Behling