It was just about this time, 20 years ago, when I said "enough" in my second marriage. Twenty years later, at least four of the kids agree that it was a reasonable choice. It was certainly not an easy one. The fallout has been worse than I could have imagined. Only two of my five are still active in the Church. There is a palpable schism between my believing children and my nonbelievers, with scattered bridges here and there that are built and maintained by common interests. And I am a living bridge, with love enough for all and a battered but unquenchable hope that there will be no empty chairs in the eternities.
But I do wonder what will happen with my wandering ones when I go Home to be with Beloved, in the time between my passing and their own. I respect their agency, even when I cannot necessarily comprehend their choices. (Some of their choices I understand entirely too well, having made similar ones in the days before I joined the Church nearly 40 years ago.)
The prophet Alma was right. Wickedness never was happiness. Poor choices bring sorrow, sooner or later, and not only to the chooser. Look at all the misery that has come into the world in the last 3,000 years because a maidservant got uppity with her mistress. I wonder if Sarah and Hagar are still at loggerheads in the spirit world, if Hagar grieves every day over her mortal choices and those of her descendants?
I wonder if I have borne my testimony often enough, if I have taught my children well enough, so that they cannot possibly misunderstand true doctrine when they hear it? I wonder if I did them a disservice, marrying a man who had worshipped idols for 15 years before his conversion, and who returned to his idol worship for several years after our divorce. His sister is a Hindu nun, one of the kindest people I know. His brother also practices Vedanta. His mother did until her death in 1982, but we did her temple work as soon as it was appropriate, and I know that she accepted it and is once more a Christian.
I think my feelings are more tender than usual because I've spent two successive evenings in the temple, rubbing shoulders with eternity and feeling the joy of the people I've been serving. They know it's true. I know it's true. I wish I could pour my testimony into my wandering ones' hearts. But testimonies are built by many small actions over a period of time, and lost in the same manner, until people may no longer remember that they ever believed.
I was so tired and wound-up when work was over that I grabbed Bueno on the drive home, finished it while sitting on my bed, then grabbed my swimsuit and towel (forgetting my soccer slides in my haste to be in the water) and went to the gym. I only walked ten laps, a little less than a third of a mile, but I feel a little less tired, a little less achy, a little less fraught. My hands want to make things. The rest of me just wants to sleep. I think I will compromise with a few pages from the book at my bedside, take my meds a little early, and call it a day. I've already texted Fourthborn to say that I don't think I have two roundtrips in me this weekend. I think I will just come home tomorrow and be a hermit until it's time for Church on Sunday morning.
The classical station played "Simple Gifts" with Allison Krause and Yo Yo Ma this morning. Moved me to tears. But that doesn't take much movement, lately. I know I'm not deeply sad. And I'm definitely not depressed (I remember that feeling all too well). I'm just worn to a Ravelling.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!