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You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You have anointed my head with oil.

My cup overflows.

Psalm 23:5

 

My Cup Runneth Over

As a writer, I appreciate the power of such a figurative description in this verse. I read a book called  Girl Meets God  by Judeo-Christian author Lauren Winner in which she wrote:

God is a novelist. He uses all sorts of literary devices: alliteration, assonance, rhyme, synecdoche, onomatopoeia. But of all these, His favorite is fore-shadowing.

I would add the use of imagery. Reading this verse, we imagine a cup overflowing with wine, water or what-have-you, and we share in the mood of the narrator. David is grateful.

He was running from an unnamed enemy, facing dire circumstances, but that’s not his focus in Pslam 23:5.

Instead, he gives thanks to God: A shepherd in Gilead gave him shelter, wool for making clothes, food and drink- more than enough to survive.

This verse has inspired my prayer with Caleb every night: Thank you Lord for not only giving us what we need (food, medicine and shelter), but also for our friends, family and even the luxuries that we enjoy…

Hope Floats

The phrase was also used in one of my favorite movies that came out when I was a teenager: Hope Floats.  

It was a different situation in the movie. Instead of dying, the father decided to leave his wife and daughter. When he drove away, the daughter was literally trying to cling to him, and she was left screaming and crying in the street.

Her sense of abandonment tears through my heart, and I can identify with the mother who calmly lifts her daughter from the ground and carries her inside. There is no hope in her eyes, only resignation.

One day the little girl told her grandmother, “I love you.” The grandmother hesitates, probably because she is not used to expressing sentiment. She answers, “Oh, honey. My cup runneth over.”

I also found myself resistant like the grandmother, to say, I love you. Why? Maybe because a lot of pain can come with those words.

To the Present

I’ve been sharing journal entries from 2006, the year when Jason died. Naturally, everything I wrote at that time is full of raw emotion: sadness, loss and death. I wish I had written more about new motherhood, more about the first year of my son’s life.

Psalm 23:5 is really on my heart because I remember suffering. David was running, but I was beating on the door of my past, clinging to the way I expected my life should be and rejecting everything in the present:

December 22, 2006 | I cannot stop thinking about Jason every minute. Every movie, everything is a reminder. Christmas is not good without him. I have no motivation to decorate or celebrate. I don’t even know what Christmas will consist of now. There should be pictures of Caleb’s first Christmas, but I don’t have the heart for it. Not without Jason. I sound like I’m just full of misery, but I don’t know where to go from here.

Now it’s almost nine years later, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So much has changed. My family is heading for Beaufort to celebrate with my best friend. I was at her house for the majority of the holidays over the years.

My Son’s First Year

My Sons First Year Widow Repair

 

 

When I was struggling with the will to live, Caleb was always my reason to stay. Not a day goes by without a hug and a whisper of thanks for my son. I am so grateful. My cup runneth over.

 

Caleb, don’t cry for your lost daddy-

I’ve cried enough for both of us

Jason, don’t worry about the bills-

I can earn enough for both of us

Caleb, don’t think of me as your only parent-

My devotion is enough for both of us

Lord, don’t ever let go of our hands-

Your love is enough for all of us.

December 22, 2006 | The night before last I dreamed that I was at my in-laws’ during the Christmas get-together, and many people were there- relatives and even acquaintances of Jason’s. I went into the bathroom, and someone came in. The person gruffly says “excuse me,” and starts grooming in the mirror. I follow the person around, trying to express that I’m so sorry Jason is gone, but it wasn’t my fault. The person looks at me like he/she is irritated- with jaw set, and doesn’t say anything.

This was the same person who blamed me and questioned me from the beginning. The person’s attitude hasn’t changed at all toward me throughout the year, and I choose to avoid them rather than confront the misplaced hatred.

Last night I dreamed that Jason was back, and when I found out, I went to a party to find him. He was with his ex-girlfriend again, and I was feeling the desperation that I had to talk to him, had to get him away from her so we could be together again like we were before he died.

It was so amazing to see him there. I wanted to hug him close and tell him how much I missed him. He didn’t remember the part of his life with me and Caleb I guess, because it was just like it was in 2002 when I had just met him one night, and I was nothing important to him.

In my dream, I rode in a car with them, and I guess the ex-girlfriend was dropped off, so I was clinging to Jason crying to him about our life. He had to remember me, and he had to realize that he was the father of our beautiful son, and that girl was in his past, she had no right to him anymore. I know he loves me, so I knew he would come around. But there was such a feeling of desperation and hope because he was back. Like he woke up from a coma. That dream seemed to last for a while.

In the next dream, Jason and I were somewhere around horses. We stabled one, and then watched as the barn collapsed and rolled down a hill. It was cold, and we were down in the debris. Jason constructed a little shelter, and I put some towels around it to block the wind and a sweater inside to pad the bottom for a little dog or cat. Jason was like a hero of some sort, and he had to go down into a submarine or something to rescue some people. I knew he had to go, and he was strapped into a seat. So all I wanted to do was cry and hold him for as long as I could and tell him how much I need him and how much I love him. I didn’t know if I would see him again. Even our niece was there, and I was trying to get them to hold hands, if only for just a moment.

This comes from how badly I want to hold him now, and how badly I want to tell him everything. And how I wish I could have gotten that chance in real life and stopped him from leaving.

These dreams feel so frustrating. When I meet him in heaven I can do all these things- hold him and tell him everything I try to tell him in my dreams. I  can’t wait. I want to be face to face and hand in hand right now.

Last night I drove by his old friend  “Juice” in Port Royal. He motioned for  me to race. He seemed happy. I don’t know if he knows that Jason and I got married, or that we have a son, or that Jason is gone. I wished he would have stopped because he is someone I could have talked to about Jason, and I would love to show him Jason’s little boy.

It’s not easy to find Juice. The last time we saw him was a night out at Coconuts, and before that, he used to show up at Piggly Wiggly when I was working. That’s where Jason found me twice and gave his phone number and told me to call him. I was excited, but I didn’t call him, because I didn’t realize that he was serious.

Why did he keep finding me?

Everywhere I was, he found me. Sometimes the pain is so intense that I wish he left me alone.

But the time before those, when I saw his friend Juice, he told me Jason had changed- he had gotten saved, and I was so happy I cried, even though I hadn’t seen him for a while. But remembering that helps, because it reminds me that Jason is in heaven now. He’s in heaven. I’ll be able to hold him again and talk to him all the time, and he won’t fade away.

I won’t lose him again like I do when I wake up.

Crying over Jason getting saved? I never cried back then, and I had no inclination that I would ever be linked to Jason. For some reason I loved him. For some reason his getting saved meant enough to me that I cried.

I cry all the time now. I cry on the way to Savannah and Hilton Head. I cry before I fall asleep. I can’t imagine loving anyone like him. I can’t figure out why he is gone. I need to talk to him again. It will be such a long time. All I can do now is dream about you.