Tick, tock, tick, tock…click, clack, click, clack; the rhythmic beating in my head started soft and somewhat soothing in its predictability, but gained momentum and volume until it became a cacophonic pounding resonating against my brain. The clock, the metronome, the measurements of time relentlessly attempting to move forward against the impenetrable wall my heart has built before it. It keeps banging and banging against that hurdle I can’t seem to move past, I can’t seem to see past, I can’t even seem to imagine past.
I begin the trip to Florida, pulling the little 5′ x 7′ U-Haul behind me, scantily embracing what is left of my meager belongings; the cat curled up on the console and my little dog, Bandit, sandwiched between my lap and the steering wheel. The road winds through the snow-faced granite falls and sky scraping evergreens, their frozen facades watching me stoically as I pass, disallowing any deviation from the narrow path I follow, closing in behind me in my rear view mirror, with no U-turns possible before me. Every now and then, something trips my memory and visions of his face—laughing in play before me as we discern the shape of a moose in the rocky face, or an elephant in the shape of a snowbank—and I feel the familiar upheaval in my chest and the spastic crying jag begins. My heart clutches erratically, forcing paroxysmal bursts of pain in my lungs and paradoxical soft tears from my burning eyes. I can’t pull over, so I try to go slow to see the road while I brush my coat sleeve across my face like a windshield wiper.
Bombarded by sweet memories! So many trips, so many great adventures, so many moments of laughter, discovery, and joyful times along routes and roads and highways across the Americas, always with our hands intertwined on that console between us where now the old cat sits trying to maintain his balance on the winding road. Alone now, I travel those roads and highways that no longer hold any promise or even consolation for me. They don’t lead anywhere that I want to go because there is no place I want to go, or even to stay for that matter. It just hurts so much, all the time. The relentless emptiness in my heart and soul, the swelling of my heart without the anti inflammatory effect of his proximal touch, the lack of soul input from his wise and wonderful spirit leaves me numb with irreconcilable grief and pain. I don’t know what to do with the overwhelming soul sickness that has no parallel to the physical and emotional pain I am so adept at healing in others.
So many people wanting something from me; healing, wisdom, guidance, support, time, money. I want them to understand; to say and do something that will reflect that there is someone else in my universe, but they don’t because they can’t. Some try and I am deeply grateful. Their true love and compassion does permeate to some level and I feel it touch the raw, bleeding wound. It feels good for a moment, but then it is gone. God, bless those people please. Make something truly good and wonderful touch their lives, and if they do not really know you, let it be You. But Lord, for me, I beg you for the millionth time, let me come home. I want to be there with You, and Scott; with Bobby, Mom and Dad, with Jessie and Laura, and the others. I cannot bear to stay here.
I lay in the dark hotel room and, when my muffled crying permeates beyond the pillow I hold to my face, I creep to the bathroom so as to not wake my daughter and friend who now journey with me to Florida. Stefanie taps softly on the bathroom door to ask if I am OK and hands the box of Kleenex through the opening. Good people; good, dear, kind, selfless people. I know I am blessed, but it does not help me. I am afraid sometimes that I will not make it through the next day. I wonder if tomorrow will be just one day too many and I will find a way to come home before You call me. They keep telling me I am strong and brave. That I am doing so well. That I am moving through “the process.” But You and I know differently. My heart is beating, my lungs breathing in and out. Sometimes my legs propel me here and there. Sometimes my mouth speaks words, but I am not alive. I died with you, Scotty Darlin’. I died with you that night as I cradled your head in my lap, when the dusky gray encircled your face, and the light faded from your gentle brown eyes, when I lay my head against the dear chest in which your heart no longer beat warm and strong. Neither again has mine. So I sit here in the wee small hours of the morning in the hotel chair, quietly pressing keys in the dark as my heart speaks and the world sleeps. In the morning, the sun will rise again here in Virginia and we will stuff the suitcases back into the muddy little U-Haul trailer and drive another day. And tomorrow night we will arrive where I am “supposed” to be. And I will grit my teeth, and squeeze my eyes shut tight every now and then, and try to press on. But every second, of every moment, of every day, I will be praying to die. Because my love for you is too deep and bursts the seams of this terrestrial world pulling me with irresistible centrifugal force to the celestial realm where you now live. I’m so sorry I am not very good at living without you here, Scotty. I wanted you to be proud of me, but even more, I just want to be with you. Oh please God, let me go home!