In the tremendous grief our family suffered last year during my husband’s illness, we have heeded the whisper Oprah speaks about in her book The Pathway Made Clear. Our uniqueness allowing each of us to grow and connect through the pain. “Where is Andy,” I wonder, “I have to tell him that Michael got a new job.” And then I remember, of course he knows, he’s in the heavens where he can know anything.
Today is a significant and impactful day. Today is my daughter’s birthday. All three of my children have had birthdays in the last few months-their first without their father, their first without him cheering as they blow out candles. They are officially living this year without my husband, their father. He won’t hold their hand when they purchase a car or a house, checking out the heating system and telling them that the filters are ridiculously filthy. “Who’s going to clean these, Andrew? Here, let me show you.” “Wilton, how many times have I told you, don’t say this car is perfect while you are trying to negotiate the price! You’re just like your Mom!” And to our middle son who struggles with addiction, “You’ve got to get a job, working will make things easier.” And he would, get a job, and it would be easier, for a while. My children, young, growing and making their way with a father who lives in their heart but not their sight, seeking a path that presently isn’t very clear.
What was the whispering that Oprah encouraged us to listen for? What creates equanimity, when you spend the year nursing your father toward death, picking your mother off the floor because her breast cancer returned as a cerebellar tumor, knocking out her positional function.
What was the whisper I heard while lying on the floor, wondering how I got there and how I was going to get up? Six years of remission and then a bomb exploded in my brain and spinal cord, putting me in the hospital for a craniotomy within four days of that fateful MRI. What was the lesson? What is the point of this post–the echo of that whisper? And how do we discern it? Be still and know, He reminds me.
He wants to protect me. I hear his whispers at night, softly assuring me that the pain I suffer although real and constant, is not the end–the whisper, the knowledge, the growth and connection continue, persistent and hopefully winning. These whispers I believe.