The term ‘lone wolf’ is a misnomer. It is coyotes that rarely run in packs, and often hunt alone, around the clock. Yesterday I spoke to my brother on the telephone. He is older than I, and I have always looked to up to him, even when the facts told me not to. It was something that became part of me when I was a child. We were both abused by our father, and our mother loved us, but she did not defend us. Some would say that is not real love, but time and age have brought me to an understanding of different kinds of love, and people’s limitations, even our parents, whom we expect the most from. But that is not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about a connection between siblings who have been through the war together…
The call came at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning. It was time. She was gone. So I was not going to the hospital to see her. I was going there to see her body. She was already gone, some time earlier. Not long. She was 56 years old.
Knowing myself, though I was different then than I am now, and I was no braver with death, I am surprised that I went alone. The hospital was 30 minutes away. My daughter was six years old and I was six months pregnant. After 2 miscarriages, or perhaps more, we were ecstatic to have made it to six months.
My daughter was still asleep and my husband would stay home with her. He lost his mother almost exactly a year previously.
I woke up joyful that I had slept the night
sans nightmares, sans fear.
I said to myself
that ‘This is the day
that the Lord has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it’
remembering the salvation of my childhood
the kindness of God in my weariness, and His love
and acceptance during my abandonments, both real
I am grateful for friends that stay, for sunshine that feels like it will never end in the middle of storms;
I am thankful for my children, for their health, and for their patience with me;
I am grateful for my mother, who in hindsight was loving to me all the way through, even when I could only see the failures;
I am thankful for coffee, for chocolate, for paragraphs, and for the Oxford comma;
I am thankful for words that were my friends when I was completely alone, both those in books, and the ones that came to mind that I have put down on paper since I was 9;
I am thankful for paper, ink, pencils, pens, and all the colors of the rainbow, even though I have lived most of my life in black and white.