Thursday, September 25, 2014

Links

It’s been almost a month since I last sat down to write.  It feels like coming back to an old friend, and I’ve missed it.  Sitting down to write has long been the cheapest therapy for me.  We’ve gotten mostly settled into our new house and life is beginning to slow down.  Gloriously slow.  The past year has felt like I’ve been underwater, with that anxiety you feel when you’ve been under for too long and your lungs feeling like they’re ready to burst.  The dust has begun to settle and I finally found the time to revisit that old friend behind the keyboard.


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Last night I dreamt about my grandpa and grandma Hawkes.  As I was talking to my grandmother, I watched her thinking how much I missed her- the lines of her face, the curling of her hair… everything.  We each went our ways, agreeing that we would meet again later that afternoon. Next thing, I was driving through St. Anthony to meet her- that sleepy little town in eastern Idaho where my father grew up, and the home of some of my fondest childhood memories.  But somehow the houses all looked different and I couldn’t find my grandparent’s house that I loved so much.  Not sure, I stopped at the house that should have been theirs and walked into the house through the garage door, the way I had so many times when I was a child.  But I was met by unfamiliar faces as they watched me with puzzled expressions, and I realized that another family now lived there.  As I turned to leave, I saw my grandfather sitting on a chair by the back door, weeping.  He told me that my grandmother had passed away.  I was overcome with sadness- that deep, heart-wrenching sadness that I’ve felt so often in my saddest of dreams.  I realized then that I was dreaming and that in fact, both of them are now gone and that another family lives in that big lovely house on the corner.  And that realization, even within my dream, only intensified my grief to the point of tears.

This is the second time I’ve dreamt about them in the last few months.  The first dream was equally as painful as I watched them from afar, longing to be with them.

I wonder what it is about these people that stir such strong feelings.  Truth be told, I didn’t know my grandparents very well.  I loved them dearly, but saw them seldom- not because they weren’t willing, but because of our life overseas.  And yet I yearn for them so deeply.

People can live long, beautiful lives, bear 10 children, and then return to dust the way my grandparents have.  Houses full of memories can be sold to people who have no idea what special people lived within those walls for so many years.  Life changes- sometimes beyond recognition- but family still remains, even beyond the grave.

Shortly after my grandmother passed away, I had an experience that taught me that my grandmother and I share a link, stronger than I had ever known.  It was one of fear that then became faith.  How I cherish that sacred link.  The link to our ancestors is more than common genes flowing through our veins.  It seems to reach both backwards and forward into a large, sweeping embrace that weaves into the fiber of our existence.

They are a part of my life today.  I feel it.  I know it.

And there will be day when we not only see each other again, but when we run to each other.  I think that will be the day that our eyes will see clearly how our existences are intertwined, and we will thank God, with tears streaming down our faces, for His greatest gift of family.