I am stretched out by the pool reading a novel. Ironically it is about grief and loss. My mother catches me in just the right light and notices stretch marks on my belly from when I was pregnant with the twins. I'm astonished she has never seen them before. They are nothing more than scars really. Points where the skin was stretched to within it's breaking point, yet miraculously held strong under the pressure. I see them every morning when I get out of the shower. Perhaps the lighting is just right there, or perhaps I know what to look for. I see them daily, yet to most people they are invisible. They have faded. They have tanned. To most people they are not even there, but are so very present in my mind.
This is how grief manifests itself now too, fading away to others but a near constant presence in the back of my mind. Not something I think about unless I'm reminded by someone that it is there. Or unless I happen to catch a glimpse of it myself when the timing is just right. But nevertheless, under the surface all the time...scars really.
After she notices the stretch marks I sit up to dip my feet in the pool. There is a bug spinning in circles on the surface of the water. One wing isn't working, yet the other flaps incessantly as though it might be able to work hard enough to save itself from drowning. Instead it only goes in circles. Over and over. It doesn't realize it's getting nowhere. It makes ripples on the glassy surface of the water effecting everything around it, though it does not know this.
How many times have I beat my own broken wings, going in circles with this grief, getting nowhere? Yet somehow believing I could save myself, only to eventually tire out and give up. Until someone came along and scooped me up. It is the same with grief...circles over and over until someone steps in to save you. Family. Friends. A wonderful man who understands loss in his own unique way. I think of scooping up the bug to save it but I don't. Then I feel guilty. Is the bug not worthy? Thank God for those who scooped me up and saw me worthy of saving. Thank God for them and salvation.
Perhaps the grief is on my mind because the novel I'm reading is about a mother that loses her son. Or because a family from church just lost their adolescent daughter. Or maybe it's the life changing experience this trip has been in allowing me to finally settle down. Feel the calm. Understand that I can and should live life in a simpler fashion. Perhaps this is what allows the thoughts and emotions to ebb and flow like the tides here instead of me being able to drown them out as usual.
Either way, I realize I'm grateful for the scars, those seen and unseen. They are proof of what I've survived when I need reminding. And more importantly, I'm grateful for the salvation that comes when you finally let go and let someone else do the saving...