It was close to 1 a.m., but I had just read Michelle's New Year's Resolutions and wanted to share them with Pat. He was still awake due to our getting home late from an all-day planning meeting with the church board held at a member's beach house two-hours from home. (To keep you from getting jealous, I walked down to the beach to only wet my feet at 7:30 p.m.-- after the meeting).
We laughed and laughed as I read through Michelle's list of resolutions--Oh! how I missed her. I turned off the light but sleep wouldn't come. Then I had an "existential moment"-- possibly brought on by many different factors. Who am I, afterall? I used to be the primary care giver for four precious children who now live independent lives far from me. So who am I now? The question hung in the air. I didn't know. My identity used to be so closely intertwined with theirs, but this independence thing is supposedly life. Moving from center stage to the periphery is tricky business. The timing has to be right--the lines well thought out. It would not do to throw a wrench in the works to prevent the cycle from progressing. (I just heard of a mother who called her married son twice on his cell phone during Christmas dinner). Hot tears started rolling down my cheeks and I looked up at the ceiling and asked God, "Is there a balm in Gilead? Is there?" I kind've expected God to mystically reach out to my soul when I realized instead that human arms were hugging me. My husband was tenderly smoothing down my hair, and in the silence touched my face, held my hand. And in that moment I knew we were not alone, that a third person was present--God himself, my Father, and his embrace was the balm I had been asking for.