Friday, February 22, 2013

A few places and times when I've been alone...

Waiting for the B37 bus to pick me up outside PS 307 after orchestra practice

Waiting for the B8 bus outside of the Veteran's Hospital near Poly Prep after basketball practice

Walking the ten blocks from the Cortelyou Road subway station to our house on Bedford Avenue

Sitting in a train car on the border between France and Spain in the middle of the night

Having my breasts grabbed by the conductor on that train a few minutes after entering Spain

Walking home from my boyfriend's house after the subway and buses stopped running in Madrid

Walking from Pochi's house on la Calle Irati to El Instituto Internacional, Calle Miguel Angel, 8, Madrid

Choosing and paying for my wedding dress

Pushing my daughter out of my uterus

Pushing my son out nearly three years later

Homeschooling them in the basement of our Norwalk, Connecticut, home

Staring at the television screen as the second plane hit the second tower

Standing at the American Airlines ticket counter less than a month later getting my passport stamped before my first trip to Italy

Walking from Il Duomo in Florence to the hotel three nights in a row

Racing up the stairs to the top of the bell tower in the duomo

Watching my child weep

Watching my father die

Sitting in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, listening, praying, still hoping He is The One

Receiving the news: "We found kanswer in the breast and lymph node"

Lying in an MRI machine wondering just how much kanswer those noisy magnets would detect

Closing my eyes every time one of the nurses inserts the needle that delivers the healing therapy into the port in my chest

Lying in bed at night, praying for healing, silent tears streaming down my quivering cheeks, wondering whether or not this dreadful disease will disrupt my life again

Hoping against all hope that it does not

Utterly and completely alone


This list of lonely moments could go on; in my mind, it does.
There are moments when I am convinced that I have always been alone.
Certainly I have had companions alongside me for certain stages of the journey.
Parents, siblings, my husband, our children, my friends, and other loved ones -
they hug me, sit with me, call me, hold my hand, feed me, laugh with me, and weep with me too.
You write to me, pray for me, bring me food, and send me surplus barrels of hope when my supply runs dangerously low.
But in the end, in the beginning, and all along the way, I walk alone - and so do you.

Unless -
Unless God can be trusted.
Unless The Word of God can be believed.
Unless it is possible that even when we don't see, feel, hear, smell, taste or touch God,
God is with me. With you. With all of us.
Unless my Sweet Momma Jesus is walking with me,
asking what I'm thinking about and talking about along the way,
and then listening to my answers,
holding me close, loving me dearly and nearly,
through the silent nights, in the noisy machines,
along the rocky, narrow, and treacherous path of life.
Unless the Wise and Ever-present Spirit of God does guide me into all truth,
remind me of all I've been taught, and lead me beside still waters.

From Isaiah - Fear not, for I have redeemed you, 
I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you,
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

From Deuteronomy - Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid or terrified because of (your enemies), 
for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. 

From Jesus - I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.
In this world, you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 


On this dismal, drizzly Friday afternoon,
I ask but one thing of you, O Lord, my God, my Sweet Momma Jesus:
You know I believe you. You know I believe in you.
Will you please, please, please, help me conquer my unbelief?
And one more thing - please don't ever leave me alone.


kelly w said...

This is a beautiful reflection... I am often surprised when I realize that I am walking alone when I thought I was in company.


monicac2 said...

This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read!

Sarah Ochoa said...

Reading this was like a good day in church- nourishing. Thank you.
Sarah Ochoa

Karmen said...

You are not alone in this. The Bible even speaks on this. The man asking Jesus for a miracle and Jesus asks him if he believes and the man says, "I believe Lord, help me with my unbelief." (very loosely paraphrased) And was it your words I read that spoke of Thomas and his needing to touch the wounds of Jesus in order to believe? We are on the verge of moving to CT, we sold our house, and I keep thinking what on earth did I do? Is this the right decision for our family,leaving all our friends, family, and security? Do you really KNOW what you are doing here GOd? And the loosely paraphrased story above keeps coming to mind. Okay, God, I trust you, help me with my mis-trust.

Kate S said...

Gail- you are keeping me company this morning, as I hold a sniffly child who is almost asleep in my lap again. I've felt alone most of my life, even in a crowd. Much love.

Amanda said...

Gail, like so many others, I've found your blog via the amazing Glennon. You are so beautiful with words, so inspirational with your hope, and so strong in your faith.

Reg said...

Your words have strengthened me on this lonely journey.

Reg said...

Your words have strengthened me on this lonely journey.