It is very early in the morning as I finish my devotional and bible study. I go to that beautiful field of wildflowers, undulating slowly in the soft breeze, to the willow tree draping the crystalline brook, where I meet with Him. I rest my head on His lap and look up at the lacy curtain of green above me, and begin to tell Him all my fears and troubles. There is so much about these past five months since my beloved left that I don’t even remember other than the darkness, despair, and desire to be free of the unrelenting pain of the greatest earthly loss. I am so very sorry for all the mistakes I made and I ask Him to forgive me and help me set my life aright. He strokes my hair away from my forehead lovingly, as Scott used to do, and tells me I am forgiven. It is hard to accept, for forgiving oneself is much more difficult than being forgiven. There is someone else across the water. I know it is my Scotty Darlin’ but he is so changed! The smile is the same, though—bright, kind, loving. He beckons me to stand up and walk; walk back to our world that He had to leave behind for a better one. Rising up feels impossible; my body is like lead and my feet as if embedded in hardened cement. However, I feel the strength and power beginning to flow through me and the heaviness begins to fall away. I turn back toward the world and life as I am, just now, beginning to know it, and start to walk. I don’t want to go this direction, but I know I must. The salty tears stain my cheeks and fall to water the petals of the daisies and Baby Blue Eyes as I reach out and brush my hands against their softness in passing. I walk slowly, sorely tempted to look back, but I recall Lot’s wife, and keep my eyes riveted on the call before me. I sense their cheering me on behind me; approving of the direction I am taking and feeling certain that I am on the right path.
It is hard to press on knowing that there are those on earth who cannot understand this journey I have been forced to take, but I must take it anyway. One realizes when all is stripped away of your appearance and reputation, that it was worth very little in the end. The applause or disapproval of man cannot deter you from following the path God has demanded that you walk. There are still times when I yearn to take the easy way out; to leave things as they are, continue to wallow in the grief and self-pity, and indulge the self and flesh. It would be easier to let others carry my load while I lounge on the sidelines in an easy chair, but that is no longer an option. I look ahead with some trepidation, as I attempt to return to where it all began, toting the Puget Sound wind chimes that my old high school girl friends gave me to remind me of where it all began with my Scotty Darlin’ and I, 37 years ago. I know that there we will be surrounded by brothers, sisters, daughters and grand babies, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and old friends galore. But I always recall how—though we were an integral part of the communities we lived in with the Coast Guard—we always noticed that after we had gone the place where we had belonged would close up the space we had occupied. Visiting was still wonderful with old friends, but we no longer belonged there. My prayer is that this will be the place where my three littlest girls and I will belong and find our peace and the strength to carry on as a family without my beloved husband, and their Dad. Still, with every glimpse of his picture or note I find he had written, I cry hard and wish I did not have to live without him. On a scrap of paper I find in the briefcase of (un)important papers, I find his words, “In light of my past experiences, present circumstances, and future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do? Ephesians 5:15”. Oh Scott, I miss your quiet wisdom and strength! Your love! The missing you so terribly never goes away; I hope it never does. I hope that there, where we met, fell in love, married, and began our life together, I will find you close to me…to us… forever and for always.