#4 had to leave early for a school thing, thus we were up at 4:30. It’s amazing how he can get himself up for a legitimate reason, but on a regular school day he must be blown out of bed several times. this morning, I heard his alarm go off, with the cat on his bed exploding immediately after, and he got himself in the shower, dressed, and chores done with nary a word from me. It was too early for words from me, and took 2 cups of coffee to simply become verbal. You see, there is this thing my brain does, when it knows there is an earlier-than-normal time to get up. it won’t let me sleep properly. No. It wakes me up hourly, to make sure I don’t oversleep. And I never have. Overslept, that is. However, it also means not getting a properly restful night’s sleep, either. A couple of lovely cups of coffee and a good breakfast is a decent substitute, as is the assurance (probably) of a powernap later on. Isn’t it amazing what knowledge of a deferred hope can do for your frame of mind!
And that is the lead, the hm…what’s it called…we just talked about this in English…Thesis Statement (that’s it!) for this essay. Knowledge of deferred hope! I won’t say I am The Queen Of Deferred hope, as I am pretty good at instant self gratification. You only have to follow me through the grocery store to see that. Except even that isn’t instant. I have never torn open a box of (whatever) and eaten it there. Though once I did open box of Kleenex. That wasn’t gratification, though, that was more in the interest of not grossing out the other patrons by blowing my nose in my sleeve. However, it did feel pretty good so maybe there was a little bit of gratification in there…Anyway…deferred hope…
School is a deferred hope, and the end result is constantly morphing. Initially, I was going in with the idea of getting a certificate in Business Administration, that is, learning how to do stuff like Word and Excel, maybe a touch of accounting. All could be done in 2 semesters. Then I discussed with the adviser and he opined that perhaps Business Admin Associates Degree might serve. Given my age, having a degree could make it easier to find work afterward (also, cause me to pay more tuition, but isn’t that a cynical attitude.). Now, halfway through the first semester, the instructor of the Fundamentals of Management course seems to think I may be cut out for Human Resources, having the proper mix of tough bossiness and tact. I can see Himself laughing and rolling his eyes…”TACT! YOU?” Himself is right. I am not naturally tactful. In my head I am saying all sorts of…well…tactless…things. Only age and experience has taught me to filter, a little bit. Anyway, as far as Hope Deferred, the business of finding a Real Paying Job is in the works but it will be a couple of years, at least.
Moving back to Alabama is also a deferred hope. Honestly, when Himself passed on, I was ready to pack up and move RIGHT THEN. I didn’t want to be here anymore, amidst the ghosts of our life together, with his presence everywhere and nowhere. However, it is probably good that we stayed. #4 is able to finish in the school he loves, amongst people with whom he is familiar and comfortable. I am able to peacefully reconcile our family’s loss, gently and carefully. Plans can be made and tweaked and shifted around, without panic or inconvenience. It has all worked out. I have friends who have helped me through the massive transition, that would not have been in Alabama. I can be with the 2 sons who also live here, though not in this house. It has been for the best that this hope of returning there has been deferred.
Getting to Heaven has become more of a reality now. Death has touched us in a way that is excruciatingly personal, and the comfort of knowing where Himself has gone, and that life is, indeed, more temporary than we ever imagined, has been a hard lesson, even with the comfort. Having the hope of Heaven means having trust and knowledge that soon (and very soon!)(relatively speaking…) Himself and I will be reunited in the presence of God, and will have an eternity to spend there, with our loved ones who share that hope and trust, and that is a comfort that cannot be defined with words. Even though life feels long, and will certainly be home to many disappointments and frustrations, it is temporary and in the grand scheme of things, very short. That hope deferred is a stout handle to hold on to, a rope hanging down the deep well that can be grabbed on and used to haul out of the darkness into a permanent light.
In the mean time, I still have a life here to live. My people live a long time (relatively speaking) and it is quite possible that, at 50, I’m only half way through it. My great grandmother passed away at 101, and my grandmother at 100. My mother and father are still clicking along. There is gardening and adulting to do, Grandpunkin(s) and aunts to visit, roads to drive on. There are lessons (both formal and informal) to learn and books to read. There are people out there I’ve yet to meet, relationships to form. I have no idea what’s in store for the future. I only know what I’m hoping for, and planning on. If I’ve learned one thing this past year, it’s that hopes and plans change, sometimes in the blink of an eye. I’ve become reconciled, even OK, with that. At least, I hope so.