Midnight Musings I – Gone But Nor Forgotten
What does it mean to wake up in the night with thoughts. Some might say “things on my mind.” But really it is my mind sorting, categorizing, making sense or even nonsense.
I think it is all the harder to let him go because I dreamed of him, longed for him, sought him so very long. And I believe he sought me as well. The time we were actually together was about 37 years, but what he and I were together was part of a dream, a hope, a desire to be whole. I know it is trite, and perhaps untrue to say that someone or other “completes “ us. I hear that and I still see that throughout time God has made counterparts to make a whole. To even make two into an echad.
In that sense, I know we were/are echad. It is so hard to say were, because I don’t understand what that means. It is not just mere denial of the reality of his death. I can’t explain how much deeper it runs. To know that his part of the flesh of this union is no longer on this plain is unfathomable. What he was, is to me is still the same. I find it difficult to not continue to say we, when for those about me it must seem that I am struggling in denial. And maybe it is true, but it doesn’t seem true. So I correct myself and say I.
Who I have become since the reality of he and I together is another person entirely. To acknowledge his death in one sense negates who I am now. I know I have to re-sort, redefine, perhaps even re-invent myself in his physical absence, but some of that smacks of a greater denial. Denial of what God did when he made us finally come together.
When I hear stories of people like my long-time friend Connie hearing of a man while on the East Coast and coming to California in hopes of finding him, then being picked up while hitch hiking by that man’s roommates and finally marrying this man and producing four lovely children in a union that continues still! Really now. How is it that God can go to such lengths to bring people together. Or is it more like a cosmic (uh, oh…shades of hippiedom) magnetism, or even a spiritual pre-connection that like homing pigeons we must find each other. Please don’t say soul mates.
That is what Rube and I were/are. Knowing what I know of how we deepened our own separate identities as well as our combined identity as we lived, loved, fought, walked all those years together, I can only conclude that even when it seemed that one or the other of us, or even both of us, willed that we would be together, it would be more accurate to say that we were only following the path He had for us.
Is it because He knew we would end up together, ie, fate? Who knows. Did I love him because I found him, or did I find him because I loved him? Chicken and the egg. Does anyone ever solve that one.
Whatever, not to get hung up on the esoteric. I find myself in a discussion with myself about wearing my wedding ring. I took his off his body and have it put in my “treasure” box . I call it treasure because I don’t have much in the way of true jewelry. What I have in that container is bits of things, memories, even bits of hair from my children’s first haircuts. I have a few rings – graduation, one from my mother…but I don’t want to get bogged down in itemizing. Suffice it to say, it is not a jewelry box by any stretch.
Actually he lost so much weight in his illness that his ring literally fell off.
So how do we explain, justify “till death do us part”? I understand from Yeshua’s words that there is no marrying in Heaven so Rube is no longer married. But what of me? Is it the death of each other that ends the marriage or death of the person ends their earthly ties. For my sake, I still believe I am married. Okay, now I hear the Denial Police at the door.
So part of me is glorified because he is now in that state. In a glorified body? Sometimes I know that I am speaking words or doing things that are because not only that I am connected to Rube and our relationship, our impact on each other, but that I was given some kind of spiritual gift when he left. I can only think it is something like Yeshua saying to us that He was leaving us His Holy Spirit to be with us, comfort us, inspire us, remind us. Okay. That sounds a bit crazy to me, but I don’t know how else to explain what it feels like.
A good example is one of the major impacts my husband had on my character was to help me understand the extent of kindness required of us for one another. I think kindness since he passed. I know it somehow was a gift passed from him.
And so what of anyone’s impact on others with whom there was a connection – children, protégé’s, friends? We are pretty glib about “mantles” being passed in terms of the patriarchs. But I know, and others have also noted, that my husband the Rabbi’s “mantle” passed to our son. A mantle is more than gifts, but includes those as well as a vision, authority, task, calling.
I watched as Rube invested in those around him. I watched as he met regularly with those for whom God had given him a “sending forth” connection. This was not just the realm of general living, but ministry as well. I watched his patience with his son, our son. I sometimes heard parts of “discussions” that others might mistake for arguments. They were honing each other, but I know Rube felt deeply his commission to send forth to do that for his own son.
So after much wrestling our son received his father and His Father’s mantle. A long time friend and fellow minister and I were noting that my son is different not just since His father died, but since He began walking in his acceptance of the mantle placed on him. What I realized yesterday was that this mantle is not just from his dad. It is the mantle of all those who have walked the vision of preparing ye the way of the Lord. I saw that our son also wears the specific mantle of my widowed friend’s deceased husband with whom she had been in similar ministry and who we never knew, coming into her life just after he suddenly died.
But is that true? To know my friend is to know her husband. It hit us both at the same moment as we were hearing our new leader preach. What he said in that sermon my dear widowed friend recognized as being straight from her husband’s ministry. How is that possible? I know it is somewhat unexplainable in any worldly sense, but we are not just a part of all who have gone before, we are a continuation. Our son says it is like standing on the shoulders of those who have come before. I do see that there is an element of acceptance in this. The recipient of all that came before must be willing to take on this, any mantle. If and when that happens, the transformation, transference occurs. And I recognize that the view from those shoulders is necessarily different, but the same, so the next generation’s calling is still unique.
And how much of my husband’s mantle, etc., was a result of the coming together of the two of us. Yes, together we brought forth this son, but it is deeper still. We have four children, two together and two prior-to’s. We continue on in them all. We understand mantle talk from our study of the patriarchs, but sometimes it makes it harder to define what “mantle” for life we are passing to our children and those with whom we have made connection, or those who have made connection with us.
I see my husband, the leader, the father, the friend, the teacher in all those he touched personally or through his acts, his words. Not to minimize mantles of ministry of the Gospel, but even though some of what we pass to others may not be as clearly understood and defined as that of direct ministry, we impact how others live the life they believe they are called to.
Okay, far afield again. That’s okay. If I am driven to get out of my warm bed to put this stuff to the page, I will not limit the flow.
So tonight, or this morning, or yesterday, or this week, this year, these last two years I miss the person of Rube. I have been reminded of “Practicing the Presence” of the Lord lately and not to elevate a mere mortal to that station, I find I am at my best when I practice the presence of Rube. Practice the presence of what God did when He put us together. To just miss his person drags me down, depresses me. To walk in who we became lifts me up.
And back to the cosmic thing. How did a middle child of seven brought up as a Baptist in New Mexico by Texan parents meet up with, catch up with an Oakland California older child of Jewish left-wing radicals. Only God knows. But that is another story.
I hope I can return to sleep now. It is 2:32 a.m.
Okay, now it is 2:41. I couldn’t resist editing while I am still in this frame of mind. Sweet dreams. Go to bed, Shari!
So it is now 2:50. I couldn’t help myself. I did the “they weren’t there” edit. Trying to make sure I was not too cryptic so readers could see where the thoughts came from. Okay, this time for sure. Nigh-Night.
2:58 I want to talk about driven-ness!