I am writing this on Saturday — and that is important, because today, on this particular Saturday, April 25th, two gifts tripped me up, stopped me in my tracks, and turned me around.
The first gift was something I stumbled on while trying to file some items in my, badly in need of mucking out, home office. It was a typed letter that I wrote to a friend, dated in 2016, in which I raked my friend over the coals for wallowing in all the things that weren’t perfect in life. I was so perturbed I typed it in outline form — and managed to cover quite a lot of territory in four pages. The structure of it caught my attention, so I printed and read it. I was startled to find that much of what I had written four years ago to someone else — applied to me, right now, in sobering ways.
Yesterday, I received a package from a college friend of mine, which included a video and a book. As I am in the middle of other books, I decided today to watch the video she sent. It was a movie called the Trial, based on a book by the same name, which was written by Robert Whitlow. I had never heard of the man before and just watched the movie without even looking at the DVD box. But again, it seemed to apply to me, right now, in sobering ways.
Grief, like other emotions, is not static. No doubt, there may be stages as well as ups and downs of it. But today, I came to the striking realization that my primary focus this past month has been me. I have had tasks that forced me to look outside of myself. My parents raised me to pray before meals and periodically throughout the day, and I have done that. When requested, I have prayed for others. But in my mind and waking thoughts, I have focused on my pain, loss, grief, emptiness, and solitude.
The two gifts mentioned above — reminded me, in quite instructive ways — that life isn’t all about my feelings. One of Ron’s dearest friends wrote a comment on one of my previous blog posts that Ron would want me to live. I agree. Life involves looking outside ourselves, saying thank you for all our blessings, and giving some thought to the joys, cares, and concerns of others. I think it would be a good time for me to refocus. Ron always told me I had beautiful eyes. I think he would expect me to use them.