Because of a Mustard Stain

I missed you the most
when I put on your plaid denim shirt
looked in the mirror and saw a mustard stain in the reflection
It made me think of hot summer days and eating hot dogs
Visions of you laughing and stirring potato salad flooded my mind
and I wanted you to be here again
I wanted to run to the freezer in the back room and grab
a popsicle to soothe the flushed feeling that fell on my face
at the thought that you cannot be here again

Your absence brings an ache larger than a missing person
When you left here you took an entire era,
my childhood was wrapped up in your existence
showered with boston cream pies and birthday cakes
I want to give to others the way you gave
I want my home to be like yours

The beginning days with out you were sticky
and frozen together by winter air and an odd adjustment
to a different kind of living where my worries of you would be
extinguished by melancholy peace
The days ahead will be riddled with thoughts of you,
the desire to talk with you

I’ve been dreaming of you nearly every night,
reminded that you are now more than alive
let the reality of heaven steal away the gloom
the empty moments where I miss you
The knowledge of your state produces a
joy greater than pain
a fragrant contentment like the scent of your
leftover laundry detergent

Our apartment is now home to your old
windowsill plants,
They traveled with you from arlington to amissville,
back to arlington with me and soon to amissville
again they will be
Irony is alive in this life,
we go from child to later become childlike,
with the weakening of bones and the
deterioration of strength
You had so much fear but you
held fast to your faith

I believe I learned how to truly pray because of
my prayers with you
kneeling down beside your bedroom chair,
holding your hands in mine
hearing the heaviness of your lungs pulling in
a breath, and the most holy name rolling off of your lips
you would whisper his name “Jesus, Jesus”
you said his name like a friend,
like the comforter he is
and I would pray as your whispers became the chorus,
God let us see beyond circumstance
let us trust beyond capacity
let us be near to You more than anything

I learned that prayers when you are sorrowful,
prayers when you are sick, can be uttered with
desperation and met with surpassing peace
Just say the name, “Jesus, Jesus”

When you were overwhelmed with suffering,
body fighting the pull of death
My mother said that just as entering the earth is painful,
so is leaving it

The difference here is that the life to come after
won’t be one of peaks, highs and lows
No, the life that is to come is incomparable
I think God uses contrasts
He shows us the darkest pit to reveal the truth
of the most glorious heaven

On the night that you left,
my terrified anger mellowed out into a deep trust,
my husband said that we could do one of two things;
question why a good god would allow suffering like this
or thank our good god that it doesn’t end like this

Thank you Lord that this is not the end
Thank you Lord that you said “Come to me
weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”
We are weary and burdened, you will give us rest
She was weary and burdened,
you took her from this life to the next,
The heavens are rejoicing and
every sweet memory declares your sovereignty

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