Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 6 - The Proper Perfection

I write these in the mornings usually so Day 6 is probably more about Day 5.

My brother, my aunt and I are driving home tomorrow. We'll be home on Friday at the latest. Part of me doesn't want to leave Houston... we spent more than half our married life here in Texas. At every step in my journey, I feel like part of me wants to stay behind and wallow, but a greater part of me wants to move forward (which is my natural drive). I want to wallow. I want to wallow where it's familiar. I can still look at the couch in the apt and imagine him sitting there... resting... doing nothing but watching me do my things. What was I doing? Probably... a yoga video... doing a craft kit from the hospital... or on the computer. I've begun to regret doing "other" things and not just co-existing with him on the couch. I know that we lived. We thanked God at the end of the day and prayed for another tomorrow. I just want to go back to those days so I could touch him and feel him near to me.

When I look at pictures nowadays... I try to imagine myself at that very moment it was taken. What did it feel like to hold his hand? To rest my head on his shoulder with the San Francisco wind blowing hair in my face? What did his skin feel like? What did it feel like to have his arms around me?

I'm not a touchy person. I don't like to touch or be touched much other than a hello/goodbye hug. With Anderson, it was different. I loved to touch him and be touched by him. I loved to grab his hand... poke his cheek... lay on his chest. Out of nowhere, I'd just reach over and massage his arms and shoulders. It was like I couldn't help myself. Like how a baby is so cute, you just want to squeeze him and touch his cheeks and plant lots of kisses on the chubs. I planted kisses on my hubs.

I'm still going through A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. It's so horrible that I'm so picky about my reading material now. A very well-intentioned stranger left me a book entitled Healed From Cancer. I was touched to receive it and touched at the thought behind it, but like I've said before... everyone is different and everyone goes through life differently. I am 100% certain that it encouraged someone else who passed it along to me. I read it, but I was not encouraged. The author was too optimistic for me... too peppy. I was in mourning... in agony... I didn't want to hear her rave about how glorious it was that she was healed and all she did to get there. I wanted to hear more about that one line she wrote about how she dealt with the pain and the waiting. Not really because I wanted my pain to stop... I just wanted to hear about her pain too. Misery loves company? And then when I was reading A Grief Observed, I felt like C.S. Lewis had too much misery and I felt really bad for him. I guess it's just being human. I want to read about what I'm going through right at this very moment and nothing else. I want to read my own thoughts on paper without having to write them out. I guess that's how I am so I marvel at how any of you can even begin to be remotely interested in what I'm saying because not much of it applies to you or how you feel right now.

I'm intrigued by A Grief Observed though... regardless of whether or not my feelings coincide with his at the particular paragraph I'm reading. I've always respected C.S. Lewis and his literary genius. Mere Christianity was so thought-provoking and logical. I marveled at every sentence. But he was untouchable... so above me. A Grief Observed though... is refreshing because it lets me know he was a real person, just like me. He had feelings. He had brilliant thoughts, but he also felt misery and loss that shook him to the core too. If I had only read Mere Christianity, I would have been afraid to even talk to him because I thought that maybe I wouldn't be able to comprehend what he was saying unless it was written down and I could reread it 5x before my brain could catch up to his thought process. A Grief Observed... makes me feel like I could sit with him and I could even venture to have a conversation with the great C.S. Lewis. Maybe I will one day in heaven.

I'm reaching a point in the book where he's beginning to write for me.

'It was too perfect to last,' so I am tempted to say of our marriage. But it can be meant in two ways. It may be grimly pessimistic-as if God no sooner saw two of His creatures happy than He stopped it ('None of that here!'). As if He were like the Hostess at the sherryparty who separates two guests the moment they show signs of having got into a real conversation. But it could also mean 'This had reached its proper perfection. This had become what it had to be. Therefore of course it would not be prolonged.' As if God said, 'Good; you have mastered that exercise. I am very pleased with it. And now you are ready to go on to the next.' When you have learned to do quadratics and enjoy doing them you will not be set them much longer. The teacher moves you on. - C.S. Lewis.

I'm more inclined to think that the latter half is true and that God isn't the cosmic kill-joy that some people make him out to be.

And that's all I have to say about that. -Forrest Gump.


  1. after unsuccessful attempts to finish "mere christianity," i felt *exactly* the same way you felt about lewis. i don't think i ever finished that book. it was all so wonderfully insightful that i couldn't move along quickly enough for fear i'd miss something. i developed a similar perception wherein i didn't perceive him as being really human - like he was some sort of super christian without the problems that most of us face. :) alas, i now think it was/is a misunderstanding of the gospel (how we all need it) and definitely misplaced reverence.

    i've heard about "a grief observed" and it's been on my mental reading list for some time - but it's been pushed down the list probably due to my perception of his books being super dense. :) your reflections on it make me want to read it, though, to find out how he was a real person with real struggles.

  2. your writing may not apply to us at the moment tiff, but we read because your writing addresses what we're longing to know about you.

    not sure what the best explanation is for why, but i think we just want to share in your grief...share life.