Yesterday was a combination of one of those ‘firsts’ and ‘the last time we were here’ times. Marc and I went to Kamloops to buy him some shoes and I was looking for pants. We took Catherine along. My hope was that if she was with us then it wouldn’t feel so lonely and I wouldn’t experience the guilt I’ve been feeling lately every time I leave the house.
It was our first trip to the city with Catherine and not Bernadette. I didn’t try and pretend Bernadette was at home helping Johanna take care of Zoe because I knew that wouldn’t work. I had to let it be what it was. All the way to Kamloops it was okay and I started to gain some confidence that the trip would be okay. But then as we pulled up into the parking lot of Aberdeen Mall I realized that the last time we were there it was with the three girls and we were looking for clothes for me to wear to Paul and Christina’s wedding and it took out all the wind in my sails – the little that there was. The whole time in the mall I was haunted with the memory of how much fun Bernadette and Catherine had going up and down the escalator and elevator, eating French fries, and playing in the little bus just outside the food court. Everything was new and exciting for Bernadette.
The entire time I had to remind myself of the conversation I had with my mother on Thursday after I posted my confession. She asked me if I really wished Bernadette back here given that she’s with Jesus and perfectly happy and I didn’t hesitate to say no, even through my tears. Of course this world can’t compare to heaven. As much as I wish she’d never gotten sick and died, I certainly can’t wish her back here. No. But the ache is still there.
It’s funny how God can use any means to communicate with us. When we got home I don’t know why but I started watching “Bruce Almighty” on my laptop as a way of distracting myself from our shopping trip. Joseph had recently watched it and thought it was funny. The movie seemed so shallow and was doing nothing for me and I was just about to turn it off when Marc asked if I’d want to finish it downstairs on the TV because he’d join me, so we did. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it but at the end there was a scene that really struck me. Bruce is a smuck, to say the least, who is using all his God powers to win back his girlfriend and just at the moment when he’s down on his knees surrendering totally to God he gets hit by a truck and is presumably dead. He’s standing before God, and God tells him to pray. The conversation went like this:
God: “What do you really care about?”
God. “Grace. You want her back.”
Bruce: (hesitates and then says) “No. I want her to be happy. No matter what that means. I want her to find someone who will treat her with all the love she deserved from me. I want her to meet someone who will see her always as I do now, through your (God’s) eyes.”
God: “Now that’s a prayer. And it’s good.”
At the part when God said, “you want her back” my instant thought was, ‘if you loved her you’d want her to be happy….” and it brought back my thoughts at the mall and my conversation with my mother and I really understood that to truly love as God loves is to want the best for one’s beloved even if that doesn’t necessarily come from you. That is a hard prayer to pray. And in our case, we couldn’t give Bernadette what would make her happy, only God could and He did, and continues to – for eternity. Now if Bruce can pray that prayer and mean it, surely with God’s grace, I can pray it too – and mean it.
I am totally amazed that I was able to write this without a single tear. I guess confession really is good for the soul!
Love and hugs,