Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Even when I can't see...

The day I found this necklace, was just a few days after we buried Dad.  It speaks to me, varying its meaning depending on the day.  As in...

"I will"...  I will go through it.  I used to think "I can't."  I simply don't know how.  I know now, you just do it, without knowing how.  Through it, is the only way.  And its sorrowful, and messy, and gut wrenching, and beautiful, and life affirming, all mixed together.  But the only way, is through it.

"walk"... I will walk.  I'm leaning in, instead of running away.  I am moving, walking through.  Sometimes crawling, sometimes uncoordinated and faltering, but walking nonetheless.

"By Faith"...  where would I be if I didn't believe in something bigger than myself?  If I didn't believe Dad is in a far better place, not gasping for air, tied to a machine, purple in the face.  The words of the bible have taken on new meaning, even though I've read them numerous times before.  By Faith, when my human mind can't make sense anymore, and my broken heart can't bear any more pain.  When my eyes can't see, and my ears can't hear, and everything tastes like the salt of my tears.  By faith.

"even when I can't see"...  Like the day I found this necklace.  I was walking the street fair feeling, blunted, stifled, preparing for my eyes to fill with tears at any moment.  Walking around feeling like my insides are on the outside... exposed, raw, and wide open.  I ran into friends, I remember talking briefly, and suddenly I was standing alone.  I don't remember saying goodbye... or most of the conversation.  Maybe it was still shock, maybe it was preservation for a weary mind and body, but "normal" things like conversations and going to the street fair, aren't so normal right now.

Because instead I am focusing on the smell of the roasted turkey legs and they remind me of how much Dad loved it when we brought them home to him from the fair.  Or how at one time we would have walked from the fair to visit him at his wood shop just blocks away.  And when I keep these memories close to me, I keep a little piece of him still here.  Even when I can't see.

So "normal" is a struggle.  I forget dates, times, and what I am talking about in mid sentence.  I am like the surface of the river, on the outside I appear calm with a steady flow.  But below the tranquil surface, the undercurrent, like grief, runs deep, with a mighty pull that drags you under at times.

"I will walk by Faith even when I can't see."  I realize the phrase probably means, faith is what we can't see. But on a day when I couldn't see, this little necklace was the first thing I "saw" that made any sense to me at all.   So I keep my chain close as a reminder, so that I know...

I am walking,

by faith,

even when,

I can't see.


  1. You offer us such rich food in your sorrow ... may the God of all comfort embrace you always ...

  2. My heart... I found the thank you I wrote to you on my desk this morning.

    My mind is shot, too.

    But I remember to put on my necklace every day. To pray for you. To hold you close. To hate that you know exactly how I feel. You have had my heart for so long now, and now you feel like you are my heart.

    I see me in every one of your words. Just please know how much I love you and that in each of my tears I am praying for yours.

  3. Vicky...I left a message on your FB page. I hug you and love you.

  4. Grief really does envelope one. This is a beautiful post Vicky - about your commitment to the process of life and about your willingness to feel all of the feelings - as you say 'lean into them' ...

    You, yourself, are the best tribute to a good father.

    I send you a big hug.

  5. Vicky, I do not have a good relationship with my father, and I want you to know it has been good for me to see what a wonderful relationship can be like, through the love you have shown for your father.

  6. Your lovely post, Vicky, reminded me of a poem my granddaughter wrote and spoke at my mother's funeral...The Nature of Life.... "When Nature takes it's course in life...there's beauty in seeing it through"...Just a line from the poem.

  7. Vicky, these are the moments it seems so hard to be "just" blogging friends - friends who are parted by so many miles when I long to sit with you and listen to you talk about your dad and your life and your family. Your writing is so poignant and sad and lovely.

    The necklace came at the right time, through God's grace, to comfort you and to encourage us through your sharing. I needed to see it tonight, too, but not for such deep and serious reasons as those that you are working and walking through.

    I wish I could find one to give to a young woman God has led into my life. She is currently hospitalized with MPD and is struggling and afraid and just needs me to hold her and love her - and that I can do. Wish I could do the same for you and offer some comfort just by being there. We are parted by many miles but not by hearts, thoughts, and prayers.

    Love you,


  8. Hi Vicky

    you describe this place of grief so well...and you have also identified one of the most important processes that we all learn at some time in our lives and that is...there is no way to get through the problem/issue/grief...but by going through it, not by skirting it or hiding from it or camouflaging it or denying it, but walking through it and feeling its nuances, how they change from day to day or hour to hour...and also in finding strength to support ourselves from those sources that we know and trust.

    Writing down your feelings like this is a good way to maybe see where you have been even when you can't see the way ahead...and you can see how you are travelling day by day from that place of numbing grief to a place of understanding and acceptance...

    Thinking of you
    Love Delwyn

  9. This is a beautiful post! I will continue to pray for you!

  10. Your words so aptly describe the journey. It's as if all that makes you you has been blown to smithereens and is floating out 'there' somewhere. At some point all the pieces come quietly back into place. At some point.
    I'm loving you from here ...xo

  11. How wonderful to have that little trinket of hope with you that walking through the valleys of life, is best done by faith.



  12. These are all good thoughts and feelings and although raw at the moment, they will blend to become something a part of you that is rich and filling and tears will be replaced with joy and pride.

  13. What a beautifully written post! The 'going through' is tough, especially when you're going through grief. Sometimes we do have to go through hell to get to redemption.

  14. There is so much beauty in your spirit. You take the time to jump into pool of feelings and navigate through with thought and care. You have to write a book someday. Your talent and voice have to be shared with the world my friend :)

  15. Vicky,

    You are an amazing writer.


  16. May God give you the strength and serenity to sail through the rough weather.


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