It happened that night. The moment he took his last breath. At that moment, unbeknownst to me, I was ushered onto a boat. I was helpless and did not understand why I had to get on.
In the midst of shock, I followed the prompting to board. It took up anchor and I sailed out into the middle of an ocean. I saw the shore behind me get smaller and further away.
Part of me was happy. I never wanted to go back there again. The smell of death, the sirens, and the heavy sadness was something I wanted to never remember. I wanted to sail away and pretend I never had to walk on that shoreline. "It never happened," I tried to assure myself as I felt the waves and wind work together to move me along.
Over time the shore was far from sight. I could no longer look back and physically see it but emotionally it was vivid as ever. At night the dreams reminded me of it. I lived it all over again in a torrent of dreams. I was there, on shore again, and the emotions were strong as ever. I awake in a panic, only to look out and realize I'm on a strange boat now.
The view is shocking - nothingness for as far as the eye can see. It's just me. In a boat. In the middle of...nothing.
I hug my knees and mimmic the rhythm of the boat - back and forth, back and forth - as my mind races to make sense of it. all.
In the morning the sun comes up and in the evening it slips away in the distance. From this, I know another day has gone by. It could be any time of the week, of any month, of any year, and I would never know. Time seems to mosey it's way by me with no regard to my opinion. Slowly and mockingly.
As the days pass i find myself wondering,
"Where am I?"
"Who am I?"
"Where I am going?"
With no one else on the boat, I ask God these questions. I sit and try to absorb every word of the Bible. But the constant rocking of the boat reminds me of my current state.
In these moments with God I am free from the lies and contorted memories of "What If's" that plague my mind. He sends them away. And we sit in silence.
I don't tell him about the boat. I don't try to explain what happened on the shore. I don't try to help him understand. He already knows. He knows how it feels and he has been waiting here. Waiting for me on the boat.
After more days come and go and go and come, I am finally able to look beyond the bow. With my eyes in the direction the boat seems to be going, I once again ask God my questions. Is there a new, wonderful land he is taking me to?
I know I can never go back - though my mind takes frequent weekend trips to that hellish time - so I look forward. I don't know when the new land will come - what it will look, smell or feel like. Not sure who I'll meet or what "old faces" will be waiting for me there.
I hope the emotions, smells, sights and memories will be sweeter. I hope I will arrive refined, renewed and ME by the time I get there.
Until then, here I am. Adrift.
"...for he called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light."
(1 Peter 2:9)