It was that time staying an hour late turned into the whole evening. No cares were paid to the winter storm advisories flashing from the news to my phone, with the assistance of my all too concerned mother. Please leave, she pleaded. It’s only going to get worse.
I couldn’t help but believe her warning, as I peered out across the car lot, taking note of the black pavement blending with the sky every place the towering lights didn’t spill over.
Of course it will get worse. There isn’t a wink of snow. This is the cold of winter & this is Ohio & it will slip us clear into late May. It will snow.
The rebel in me kept within the building until nine o’clock, where I trailed back to my car in perfect time with the running engine defrosting the windows & traces of snow melting on my windshield. The heat was tangible. All was easy.
For maybe three minutes.
The snow picked up rapidly, & the rebellion in me was shaken out slowly with the shifting car, pacing from one side of the road to the other, unsure of where those yellow parallel lines ran off to so quickly. As the prayers began to pour out tied with the ‘Lord, if I make it home alive, I will’s, I couldn’t help but notice the patient truck cautiously following my lead. As if on cue, my phone began to ring.
I’m going to go in front of you. Follow my lead.
You know he passed his exit on purpose?
In a white out.
Twenty minutes filled with you’re okay, that’s it, you got it, you’re doing good.
After getting off the freeway, we parked my car off to the side, between the mounds of snow barricading a local grocery store. Locking my doors, I jumped into the passenger seat of that truck beside him.
There are days I can’t go back to, the weight of some nights too much for my legs to carry along with today.
But some days.
Somedays when the storm was a white out & the heat was rare enough to fog windows surprised by it’s presence. Some days when I was worth the extra distance. Worth the later nights.
Somedays I’ll visit with, going back to before we loved with all we had, to the days you loved me by choice. When I was sought after.
& the sweetness in me wants to tuck it away, ashamed that it’s over & I still find these words & days with emotional scars. Ignorance tells me to write other words & tell other stories to manifest themselves in other’s lives, that when it involves others & those others could find this like the stack of love letters in the notebook, this could burn.
I remind myself of this good nature on the days like today when these stories are all I have, & the big sister in me wants to be honest & open & trusted in a way that whispers I’ve been there, too & extends a hand to squeeze through the fire. & you know what?
& I would make a list of all I’m afraid of but really its easy because it’s all just you. It’s all what you’ll think & say & do with what my heart has to give.
I’m afraid of you, but I write anyways.
I write because fear is simply forgetfulness that I own these stories & they are as mine to give as they are his to guard, & Anne Lamott reminds me to be brave, because if anyone wanted me to speak kindly, they should’ve behaved better.
But this isn’t about hurting or tearing down or bringing up tough feelings. This is Thursday & Thursday’s I will throw us back with a good story. Maybe the kind that will make you question their truth, because life doesn’t feel like it can realistically give birth to heaven so pure. Maybe some won’t besuch buttery goodness. Maybe some will be more like unanswered questions & shattered tears.
But today, love.
Today we give thanks for an ocean that grabs the shardsof glass out of our wounded hands & spits it back out smoothed over. No more of the piercing. Only the beautiful.
Today I write thank you’s in whispered hallelujahs. & I won’t forget his goodness present through even the things that find dead ends & exit signs. I write about somethings that don’t matter because beneath the dirt lie the diamonds, along with something greater that does. I write because I don’t want to forget. Forget that heart. That love. That spark. That worth. I never want to forget that I’m still highly valued, adorned in tsunami waves & wildfire red sunrises. I have not been uncovered as less. No, I’m greatly loved, worthy of that drive 1,000 times over. Flowers on my doorstep or not.
A man can’t add to that, & he can’t take away from that. At his best, he can only reflect that.