Late Night, Too Late

Memories tumble over me, recreating my past in a collage of mismatched snippets. Layering, layering with misdeeds curling the edges of so many scenes. 

With a Pampered Chef pastry roller in hand, I crawl over fading colors. Rolling, rolling, trying to press down the panic. But panic seeps through in ragged rainbows. Staining, staining, disappointing.

Artwork by Harvey A. Collins, Kelley Prayer Chapel, Olivet Nazarene University

Artwork by Harvey A. Collins, Kelley Prayer Chapel, Olivet Nazarene University

What can seal the overlapping edges? What can bring life to the fading colors? Stop the blurring? Hold the integrity I know is there? 

Another hand works with me, wielding the wide brush. Spreading the only sealant that will help. His mercy. 

I turn to thank him. I feel his presence, but my eyes cannot meet his. I’m so guilty.

In red across the middle, he writes: “Blotted out.” I look again. Now I see the pattern of his words, a singular crossword pointing me ahead.

Graphic background: Tabletop design, WOW Furnishings, Alton, Illinois

Graphic background: Tabletop design, WOW Furnishings, Alton, Illinois

I can’t repair what was done before. I simply turn the page and start anew. 

My friend, you taught me about turning pages. Helped me turn a few when they were too heavy for me to turn alone. And now I must turn the last one, the one that sends you away from me for a long time. If I could have just one more smile, one more round of girlfriend laughter … but nothing here goes on forever.

I am so scared to write, scared to see the hurt and sorrow march across the page in measured alphabet. And yet, I must write. Words are how I hear my salvation. When my heart speaks, each part of me listens for the answer, the clue, the permission to begin again.

My words seem empty, and yet I write to hear more of who I am. I don’t want to be the only one here to listen. I miss you, Annette. And you, Sally. And you, Ellen. I miss all the ones who let me be that person and aren’t with me anymore. A thousand thank yous. A million whispered good-byes.

I need practice on my hellos, my welcomes. Spoken less often. Needed so much. Especially today.

Mural by Harvey A. Collins, Kelley Prayer Chapel, Olivet Nazarene University

Mural by Harvey A. Collins, Kelley Prayer Chapel, Olivet Nazarene University

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world" (1 Peter 1:7).

Laura Warfel is a widow, writer, and follower of Jesus Christ. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, because of the encouragement of the Launch Out Conference and Jon Acuff, she launched More Than A Widow on Facebook and Twitter. Today she blogs, tweets, and posts to help widows (and those who know them) find encouragement, hope, and resources for the journey. Her goal is to help all widows live beyond the label and live as more than a widow.
Copyright © 2017 by Laura Warfel