It’s been a quiet week. Last weekend, my boys left for the start of the tour of grandparents on Friday before I got home from work. I was disappointed to have missed their departure, but glad when they called later to let me know they made the half-way point and were in the hotel for the night. I stayed up late, as I usually do when I’m alone, but I slept for nearly 12 hours. It was nice to have an uninterrupted night–even the cats let me sleep and didn’t disturb me. But Saturday night was different.
I turned out my light just after midnight and found I couldn’t get to sleep. My mind was busy and got caught up in a cycle of negative thoughts. I tried to pray them away, and it seemed to help a bit, but I kept going back to the nagging feeling that there was something wrong, and specifically it was me. A couple of times in the months since Dad died I’ve had something like a voice in my head say “You’re next.” It frightens me, a similar thing happened in the months before Dad died–I felt like I was told he would die soon, before we even knew he was sick. See why it makes me worry?
I prayed to Dad that he would help me be well, healthy and long-lived. My sleep came but it was a bit fitful. My husband’s alarm clock went off at 6 am (I’ve got to remember to turn that thing off!). I turned it off and went back to sleep. My cat Stuart woke me up around 8 and snuggled in beside me while I snoozed a bit longer. I thanked him for waking me up so kindly. Sometimes I wonder if he’s a reincarnation of a previous cat because he just seems to know things.
Anyway, I went to church as I usually do…a little bit late and alone. During the service I remembered that I needed to go to the bookstore afterwards to get some resources for the members of the bereavement group I lead, so I wrote myself a note. They had told me they wanted to see Jesus Calling and Heaven is for Real, and anything else that might look appropriate for the bereaved.
Going to the bookstore is part of my usual Sunday routine. I like to go have a chai and look at the craft and cooking magazines. Sometimes I get lost in the discounted book section. I started there, hoping to find some bargains. I had limited success there so I headed back to the devotional book section.
That’s where I saw it–The Way. There on the bookshelf to my left, at heart level; laying out on the edge of the shelf was The Way. I thought to myself, surely not? Could this be a new edition of the Bible my father carried with him on the front seat of his 1970 1/2 Ford Falcon? He carried that paperback, hippie Bible all through my younger years, to church, the men’s group, Elders and Sunday School. I picked it up from the shelf and slipped off the package band to look inside. Sure enough, in the publisher’s introduction was confirmation that this indeed was a new and updated edition of my Dad’s Bible! It was as if Dad was there, waiting for me to find him in the bookstore so he could tell me he’s still looking out for me and encouraging me.
Dad is still with me on The Way.
So now I’m trying to track down Dad’s old Bible. I know I have seen it at their house, but I can’t say how recently. I’ll be home in a few weeks and plan to look for it. Dad carried that Bible when he was about the same age I am now. I wonder if he wrote notes in it? Did he highlight or underline things? What might he have left in it? Maybe there are some notes of things he wanted to remember tucked in the pages. I hope I can find it.