Today is our 14th. wedding anniversary! We are planning to go out for a nice dinner tonight. It is good to look back sometimes... take a trip down memory lane. We have had many wonderful years, but some (such as the past one) have been harder than others. Loretta just came in and told us about a sermon she was listening to, about how hurricanes can really clean things up. Dead branches fall out of trees and even the air has been washed clean. Unfortunately, along with the dirt and deadness, very precious things can also become casualties. That sort of rings true in our life. We may be dealing with loss and devastation, but there is also a sense of focus and simplicity - a knowledge that what is left behind could not be touched by the winds and downpour. What remains is not only extremely solid, but sacred. It is, or at least feels... untouchable.
Today is also the 13-week anniversary of Ellie's death. Every Wednesday night John's cell phone alarms at 7:43 p.m. It always surprises me, because I don't think about it the same way - I don't mark the weeks so precisely. When the alarm goes off, I am startled into the realization that another week has gone by and at that exact time, on a Wednesday not too long ago, we were watching Ellie take her last breath. I have always found it sad and wondered why John would torture himself so. But last week John was outside at 7:43 p.m. when his abandoned cell phone alarmed next to me. I opened it up to turn the alarm off and read the words "Ellie's Freedom". Somehow, with that one little phrase, my thinking has changed. I find John's compulsive remembrance touching and meaningful, and much more complicated than just mournful.
For me, the past few days have been full of tears. I have cried both violent "I-can't-breathe" kind of tears, as well as the gentle, aching, sorrowful tears of a broken heart. It is, I suppose, another kind of washing of the air.
We are making preparations to move into our little "cabin". Loretta is moving over to the big house this week and then I have a little painting to do before we can move over. I am planning to incorporate many special touches to bring Ellie's presence into our home. I am trying not to build a "shrine" but to find ways to honor Ellie with pictures and with words - some way to acknowledge Ellie in our home other than through her painful absence. I bought some vinyl quotes to stick on the wall. They say: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's learning to dance in the rain." "Because someone we love is in Heaven, we feel Heaven in our home." and "Some people come into our lives, leave footprints in our hearts, and we are never the same." I think that Ellie would approve!
I will be sure to put out pictures of our home. We will be finishing it off slowly - one room at a time. My hope is to complete the living room first. I miss my sofa so much. For most women, the kitchen is the heart of their home, but the living room (particularly the sofa) has always been mine. I can't wait to have a home again, and at least it will have it's heart back - even if it is still broken.