16 weeks have passed.
The days come, and they go.
The hours are filled with the monotony of routine, and the tasks that seem to work their way into every open time slot.
There is so much activity that requires nearly no thought. Then, there’s the stuff that gets done while going through the motions. Maybe while thinking about what’s next on the list.
But then, in the midst of the mundane, you step up from the brick walkway, onto the steps leading to the door you’ve passed through thousands of times before. And right then, right there, as you reach for the railing that hasn’t been there all that long, symmetry, it all comes together. Like an invisible wall slammed right in front of you, you stop in your tracks.
See, it’s been 16 weeks. Dad went home to be with the Lord. Before he went he slowly lost abilities that we take for granted while running around with our heads cut off. The railing was added so Dad could better help himself up and down the steps leading to and from the entry way. He would reach for the railing to steady himself. He needed it. He counted on it. He was happy to reach it at the end of the walkway. It was a help to him. Yet, it wasn’t there for very long.
Now, Dad is gone. The railing it still does its’ job, and I reached for it just today. But I would rather have reached for Dad. Reached for his arm, to steady him. To let him know that he was alright.
I walked those steps with Dad many times. I held his arm steady many more times. I prepped the railing to better deflect the sun’s heat as to keep it comfortable to the touch. Today, I reached for that railing, and everything stopped. I was snapped out of the whirlwind of chaotic life, and directly into a trance. I froze, looking at this railing on the side of the house. My eyes teared up thinking that Dad would never again walk these steps. The railing will help others, but Dad won’t rely on it again.
I stood there thinking about my Dad. Dad’s birthday was last week. He would have been 75. 75, that’s it. God knew it was time to bring him home. I can’t argue with that. I just get to stand alone, frozen in emotion, holding on to a railing that represents so much more to me.