There's a little semi-circle window that caps the three normal sized windows in my bedroom. I've often thought it strange that it's there. It serves no general purpose, and if someone thought it made a grand enough aesthetic difference then they must be a window sales person. It's miniscule compared to what's below it.
As the years have gone by, I've enjoyed my little window. In the middle of the night, I can see the moon, sometimes stars, watch the leaves sway with a rain storm, and watch the night gently turn to day. This morning, my eyes fixed on the little window, and I was amazed to see a purple hued sky. Winter dawns are more striking than the other seasons. With the bare grey trees as the only accessory, there are no other colors to distract from the colors of the sky. This morning was a color I had never seen before, and I began to study it with my sleepy eyes. Streaks of blue and pink, almost as though a giant hand had painted them. I could focus in and see the two colors and move my focus out and see the purple. It was lovely.
In these small moments, I know there is a God. I feel Him, His divinity, power, majesty. I felt it this morning for the first time in, if I'm honest, a couple of months. For two months, November and December, I hadn't felt much of anything, especially not God. It's not that I don't believe in Him or have hope in Him, but it's that I don't want to feel any of it. Don't want to feel anything at all. Not God, not love, not peace and joy, and definitely not grief. And so I subconsciously shut down all systems and numb myself to emotion to make it through the holiday season. I become a spectator instead of participator. I eat more carbs and drink more vodka. I numb out.
And this morning, God spoke to me in the purple of the sky.
Good morning, daughter. You've been sleeping. I hope you rested well. It's time to wake up.
And I made my apologies to Him. I didn't make any promises other than to awaken. I know He understands.
As I wrap up 2013, the first full year without my mother, I begin to understand why I still have these surprising moments of unbelievable grief. It hit me just this morning as I made the bed. It is the first full year without her. Ever. The whole year... from January 1st to December 31st... no mother. Perhaps I look the same from the outside and seem to be running along as usual, but it's not that way at all. There have been a year of quiet tears alone because I don't know what else to do with what I'm feeling inside instead of take a moment and let them fall from my eyes. A year of afternoons with burning questions for her that only she can answer about the simplest of things. A year of holidays spent thinking, "What was our last Christmas like? What was the last birthday gift she bought Madalyn? How did we spend our last Thanksgiving?" My reference point for all these things has become so askew that I can't pinpoint details, and it plagues me, and my mind spins with memories and moments and words. An entire year without her. It just seems so strange even now as I type the words on the next to the last day of my first whole year without her.
I haven't written much this year. It's been more difficult to make the words flow. And I keep holding back for so many reasons, but maybe it's time to let go of that. I always feel better once I've put my feelings into words and hit the publish button. Then everything feels put together and tidied up from the normal mess inside my head. Perhaps I should do this more often.
Maybe the word awaken should be my focus for 2014. Awakening my senses again, my fingertips to write, my emotions, my spirit. Awaken each morning with the belief that I can embrace it all with God's help.
For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."