I turned slightly away from Mary after I hugged her yesterday. I didn’t want her to see my face and realize I felt like crying. Since David’s death I feel more vulnerable about loving anyone, knowing just how much it hurts to love, and then lose them. Mary has been my friend for 25 years and though I don’t often say it, I love her very much. Somehow, she has known just what to do to help me since David’s death; what to say, how to say it, the perfect gifts to give, books to share, and regular visits like the one yesterday, where she treats me to lunch and our talks are so intense, coffee shops and tearooms turn over their “closed” signs before we notice they are shutting down around us.
Mary asks the important questions, questions that not everyone wants to hear the answer to, like How can you stand it? And then she really listens to the answers.
It was with some regret I was bidding her good-bye. Then I spotted it on my living-room ceiling; a perfect rainbow.
“Look, Mary,” I gasped with delight, “A rainbow!”
“Where is that coming from?” she asked, just as I realized it came from the Kenny G CD I’d set on the coffee table that morning.
“Kenny G makes rainbows,” I joked, and Mary laughed. I waved good-bye as she entered her vechicle and pulled out of the driveway.
I closed the front door and studied the rainbow. It was so bright and colorful, looking at it made me happy. I snapped a picture of it before it disappeared as the angle of the sun coming through the window gradually changed. It was there for just a few minutes. My children would later dampen the joy of the moment a bit with their rolled eyes and comments that the rainbow had appeared the day before, too. I hadn’t seen it, and it didn’t matter. Really, what were the odds it would appear just as I hugged my good friend?
I settled comfortably on the couch, where I promptly fell asleep.
It wasn’t the early rising, the birthday breakfast I’d shared with my daughter Emily that morning, or the walk to the coffee shop that had tired me out. It wasn’t even the hours of deep conversation, the ice cream cone, or the walk back home.
It’s the grief. Grief weighs heavy in my mind, heart and soul. It is like a heavy rain in the darkest storm.
Mary is one of the rainbows God has sent me during this period of darkness. There are others, of course; my sisters, my children, good friends. I am grateful for every little rainbow in this storm.
“And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.”- from Casting Crowns – Praise You In This Storm Lyrics