As the love of my life captures my heart so does the roots of my father. My boyfriend is from a small town of Eston, Saskatchewan which was also my fathers hometown, and the hometown of generations past in my family. This place has always meant so much to me, in fact growing up I never lived here yet I always said it felt more like home than Calgary. When I visited Eston with my parents, when I heard stories about growing up from my family, when I saw pride from my father as we drove these roads, I felt at home because I felt roots, deep roots of history, family, and love.
Eston is the place where my father was born and raised, it is the place where my mother caught his attention, where their love blossomed, and where their life together began. Eston is where my father learned his work ethics, the importance of family, and the balance between hard work and play. Eston was a love of my Dads life, it a place where he humbly stood in gratitude, and a place where with great thanks he called home. Tonight I am in Eston and as always when I am here my Dad is on my mind all of the time. Each place I visit, everything I do, every spot I drive past, Eston consumes thoughts of my Dad.
I drive down the roads my father once drove and my mind races in questions and thoughts. What is the exact number of times my Dad drove these roads, what conversations were had with whom during those drives, where was his favourite spot to drive past or his favourite quiet spot to pull over and pray. For some reason these roads captivate me the most, out of all the places Eston has to offer with memories of my Dad, the roads to my families farm are my favourite to daydream about. I drive down this road and memories flood my mind. I drive and in fast motion I see me as a child standing on the side of the road playing in the fields with my Dad, I drive and six miles up I see myself riding in the combine on my Dads lap, I drive and four miles up I see my Dad and I riding in the car with my Grandpa Jellybean, I drive and two miles up I see my family standing in amazement as we watch a cat deliver its kittens, zooming past me are piles of memories. Each time I mentally drive ahead, memories of life with my Dad speed past me, frustrated I slam on my breaks wanting to slow down enough to relive each and every moment, wanting to turn around and stay in that memory, but I am driving too fast, my breaks no longer work, and the only option left is to keep driving ahead.
Perceptions, they are funny little things. You can see something one way your whole life, then suddenly one small change and it will never be viewed the same again.
I have visited Centre Street Church a million times, I have sat beside my Dad listening to Dr. Henry speak for years, I have stood in worship, I have knelt in prayer. I have only perceived CSC as a place where I am able to grow and learn, there have never been any negative feelings tied to attending. This week however my Mom and I went back there and as we drove closer to the church, my anxieties grew. I have not been to CSC since my fathers funeral and I began dreading walking through the doors and having a flood of emotions hit me. I did not want to walk into the auditorium and see where my fathers casket once laid, I did want want my perception of a church I love very much to be muddled with pain and sorrow. But I proceeded, I walked through the doors and numbed my mind. I did not look upstairs where our family gathered before the funeral, I did not look at the door where the men my Dad adored carried his body out of, I deliberately cleared the thoughts out of my mind and just walked.
Eyes down, I took my seat, nervous to look up and see memories of one of the hardest days of my life. As worship began I naturally lifted my head and found the courage to look to the stage. My eyes lowered from the pulpit to where my Dads body once was and instantly I was overwhelmed with emotion as I received one of the most beautiful gifts I have been given. I looked down and replacing my fathers casket was a table of communion. Tears instantly began flowing and the words “because I love you…” repeated in my mind. The symbol of eternal life, the physical representation of the largest sacrifice ever given to me, the promise my father isn’t dead but indeed more alive than he has ever been, the beauty of a love greater than Ive ever known. It was all laid out perfectly on that table, it was laid out intentionally with my fears in mind, it was laid out for me. Every time my mind wandered that service and each time I cried in painful memories, all I had to do was look down and see that table. Instantly I knew God was holding my hand and quietly whispering in my ear “Jenelle THIS IS because I love you…”.
but no matter how many times I say this, I know in my heart…
I just want to go back in time and hit…
and I wish I would have said to him that day…
and without you this seems impossible.
who am I kidding?
but through this mess I still hear your voice. Jenelle…
you will never be…
but I promise you will find joy again.
and this is BEAUTIFUL! And Jenny Wren I want you to know…
too. I know this is hard Jenelle but you need to…
Everyday you need to hear me when I say….
and one day soon…
and this time it will be FOREVER!
Image source: weheart.com
You want to hear me say I’m fine, because you can’t bear to hear about the howl that blows out of every breath I exhale. But I am you….YOU! I am speaking to you! Do you realize that it may happen to you? One day it could be you, standing in black next to a casket, comforting those who don’t know how to comfort you, only to go home to a house where the sounds of your life has lapsed into an
~Stephanie Ericsson, Companion through Darkness
Ive tried to write now for the past little while. My intention has been to blog through some of this process, yet right now I feel a little stuck. Like the words of my heart freeze somewhere between the pen and the paper. I suppose it is difficult because many of my thoughts are so personal and vulnerable. My words seem angry and intense on paper and I am uncomfortable with that. Writing is an outlet for me, it is a heart song. Many times the words that come to mind the most, are the emotions that I am struggling to deal with. This doesn’t mean I am sad, angry, or defeated ALL of the time, it just means these are typically the times I use writing to process through these emotions. Point being, my blog seems a little sad right now and it is. I struggle to write about the good going on in my life but I know that is something that wont last forever. In the mean time I have been finding so much comfort in reading certain books or listening to music I can identify with. Until I find my voice again, I suppose I will borrow someone else’s.
I gaze at photographs of people I once knew and enjoyed, lived with, talked to, and held in my arms. Their pictures fall far short of what they were in real life and what real life was like with them. Immobile and lifeless, they are beautiful but dead, mere snapshots of people whom I knew as living people in the motion picture of our life together. They are poor replacements of the multi-dimentional relationships I had with them.
~Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised
And so I find myself on my knees
pleading with my heart, begging my feet
stand up, please just stand up
yet I am at a standstill
my mind tells me go forward
my body freezes me here
my heart is indifferent
I hear your timeline and I thank you kindly
but I already have my own
the days, the hours, the months
a cassette tape on replay
my favourite movie on pause
a fawn learning to stand
eager knowing this will not last
but how can I be so sure?
I will try, I am trying
and thank you kindly for your timeline
but I already have my own
Image source: Pink Street Designs
Spring cleaning cannot wait, it has come upon me in the dead of winter. It is time to get dirty, time to scrub, time to put on the gloves wipe away the dust and try to make things shiny again.
I dont know how but I am going to begin, even if it means cleaning one inch at a time. I can do this…at the very least I can try.
Image source: weheartit.com