We just returned from spending Labor Day Weekend with some friends in Chicago. We were blessed with beautiful weather, good food, rest, fun, and a closeness to God that is rare & rich when it happens. I experienced this through staring into the face and holding in my arms their adorable 3-month old baby girl.
On the way home, we drove thru Wheaton, Ill - one of my old haunts. I lived there for several months with my oldest brother and his family when I was 19 years old. It's been 10 years since I've been back & driving through, I felt a mix of longing and sadness and joy. Probably in reminescence of what I felt while I was living there. Living there was a haven for me, as if the losses and demands and pain of life could be put on hold for a time. At the time, my brother & his wife only had their first daughter & she was just a year old. What a delight, a soothing for my heart & soul she was, to hold her and hug her and play with her and watch over her as she slept. We bonded... a strong bond that continues between us today as she enters into middle school.
But it also was a sad time in my life. Back in Maryland, where I decided to get away from for awhile, my relationship with my first boyfriend was painfully slipping away from me & no matter how much I tried to grasp it or grip onto it, I was losing hold. The loss of that relationship was a defining time in my life. And today, ten years later, driving through Wheaton, I realized, there's still parts of my heart that need to let go and say goodbye. There's still grief there for me to enter into.
I know this is true regarding my dad as well. He died over 3 years ago and I haven't said goodbye. I haven't let him go. There is no set timetable for grief. You ride its waves; waves that wash over you; waves you hope won't hold you under and drown you.
Driving through Wheaton, I felt the desire to dive deeper & swim further than I have these last 10 years.