Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm letting God do the judging.

That day was awful.

A long distance phone call to Augusta after an exhausting day brought more painful news of loss. A different long distance phone call, brought reassurance and a friend. Ten years have passed; ten quick, quick years between what felt like yesterday and today.

Last night, Helen slept on our floor, on the way home from home. After much talking, pizza, and laughing, it was bedtime. In a second, life changes. Husband called from the bedroom, "Osama's dead." I wanted to cry, but had no idea why. The relief was overwhelming and instant, remembering that fear I felt that night in the sorority house at 440 S. Milledge. Miranda slept next to me, for comfort as I mourned the loss of my uncle and of so many others. Our foundation was rocked to its very core.

On FoxNews, drunk college students were outside the White House screaming "USA! USA! USA!" Fireworks were going off in a distance outside of our window and I imagine that this evening was very different in this city back on that Tuesday. Would more be coming? How would we move forward? What would change? Those college kids were ten when the towers fell. Ten. At ten, do you really understand? I went over to Stacy's house to help her with the kids as much as I went so as not to be alone. She was always good about that. I remember her kids were more excited about having a school day off and understanding little about what happened. The innocence of youth is one of God's greatest blessings.

In his death, I want to say things like "rot in hell, you son of a bitch" and other obscenities. But, that is not my job to judge. That burden is for Someone Else. There is a Kipling poem that my grandfather often quoted and found solace in. September 12, I called him & recited it for him (from my memory, as that was the way I learned it), because I was finding solace in it.

When Earth's Last Picture is Painted
When Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried, 
When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic has died, 
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it -- lie down for an aeon or two, 
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew. 
And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair; 
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets' hair. 
They shall find real saints to draw from -- Magdalene, Peter, and Paul; 
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all.

And only The Master shall praise us, and only The Master shall blame; 
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame, 
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star, 
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They are.

We move forward. I am moving forward. But, I do wonder what my children's history books will say about these past few days.


Family Snodgrass said...

I didn't know you lost your uncle in 9/11. I'm so sorry.

Jeff Hood said...

Love it Rachel. You are definitely a wordsmith...much as Kippling was. I too remember that poem (though not well enough to recite it) and often find great solace in those words as well. Have a great day!