...is that some of them contain the grossly, shockingly unexpected. Some of our un-gone-through boxes are more like time bombs.
Today's surprise contents included the last photos ever taken of dear Jacob, toodling around in a little plastic car at the hospital, eating his last supper.
I took the photos out of their envelope and for a few long seconds could not breathe.
The truth is, time heals nothing. Time is nothing to grief, or to love, and we are the walking wounded.
I don't mean to be harsh, but I have to be honest about the untruth of that platitude. Time does not heal this kind of wound. Life has grown larger these fifteen years, large enough to admit joy, awe, love for new children; large enough to return to scholarship, to enjoy the garden, to learn to paint -- but the brokenness at my core I no longer expect to change or heal. By now, I think it may simply be part of me. I know it has brought me the gift of greater compassion for others who are suffering, which I accept as a gift. If my sorrow makes me a little more able to act with compassion and human kindness, then I can be grateful at least for that.
I haven't felt a great attachment to Lent this year, until now. I wasn't sure what to take on or ponder (and the much-reviled family discipline of giving up video games was as much about family sanity as about Lenten observance, I have to admit), though as I probe the depths of boxes in the garage, and ruminate on the questions in my own being through journaling and painting, I think this deep-digging may actually be where my intuition was leading me.
So, I think I'll soldier on, open more boxes, let the winds blow, face what comes, let my heart feel what it feels. Know that my world is better for having been mother to this son.