Forgive me for not writing in such a long time. I wrote feverishly (before and)after Amanda’s death … and then all inspiration for writing dried up. I’ve been in a wasteland. I suppose a writer would call it “writer’s block.” But for me, it was more like a desert. I used to always seek God first to give me what it was I should write about. Amanda and her life and actions were many times the spark that ignited a new story. Since her death, the hole that her absence has left behind has made me feel … empty … hollow … incomplete … and living life as if I were wandering aimlessly in a dry barren desert. I’ve prayed to God to find my way back to Him. However, He is still there and I have not left His presence. But considering that Amanda was part of my life for 31 of my 56 years means her loss took a great chunk out of me. Ted and I have continued with our jobs, church activities, and leisure time with friends, family, and activities to try to put the pain of our loss behind us – and to show the world (I suppose) that we are strong enough to keep plodding forward. Life goes on, we say, and so do Ted and Laurel. I have heard that the second year after one weathers the death of a loved one can be even more difficult. Oh my.
So not even a year has gone by since Amanda passed and I find myself getting ready to say a final farewell to my father – or Pop as he has always been to me. The details are not necessary for me to share, but a cancer caused by asbestos is right now sucking the life out of him. As my heart aches and the tears fall, I am frightened by what hole will be left behind by this loss when the loss of Amanda is still ringing hollow and void.
I have always loved rainbows. They are amazing. How spectacular to see a bow of color across the sky! God put the rainbow in the sky as a sign of the covenant he made with Noah and all mankind that he would never send a flood to destroy all living things – ever again. After surviving that long journey on that stinking crowded ark, I’m sure that the rainbow was a beautiful sign from God that promised new life, new hope, and a future. Whenever there is a storm, you can ask Ted to confirm this, but I will always look for the rainbow. As I currently still struggle with my ‘Amanda void’ and face as well the passing of my Pop, I was almost frantic yesterday when it stormed. It was late afternoon and the eastern sky was dark, and the sun beamed brightly from the west. Perfect rainbow conditions! I grabbed an umbrella and went out through the garage. Ted was puzzled at my dash outside and wondered where I was going. I told him I had to see the rainbow. I am not one to neither wallow in sadness nor be ‘stuck’ in the past. I want to keep pressing forward, to look for more, and to look beyond. Standing pitifully in my driveway with tears streaming down my face as furiously as the raindrops were falling, I saw a rainbow … and I just stared and sobbed. No matter what happens in life, God is always there. He is always in control. He is always there to be our strength and to help us through the desert. I had to see that rainbow – I KNEW it would be there. It was a promise to me that there is a tomorrow.
Ted snapped a photo of me with my umbrella in the driveway. Not my best shot, but I had to share it with you. Such an anguished and tear stained face … but my faith in God stills burns bright and I needed that rainbow. It gave me the promise of hope and a tomorrow – no matter what happens.