Funny how one bowl of cereal can set in motion a whole stream of tears.
Last night, as I poured an evening snack, I was reminded of how my grandfather would randomly announce around 9 pm, “Well, we better eat breakfast tonight so we don’t have to eat in the morning.”
Mamaw would silently rise from her recliner and begin fixing an entire full breakfast—eggs, sausage, and biscuits. And we would eat.
The first time this happened I wasn’t hungry. But papaw was a man of his word and if he said we weren’t eating in the morning, then I knew I better eat that night because I may be hungry if I didn’t.
Little did I know we would have a full-on breakfast again the next morning.
I don’t know why he would make this random announcement some times. And other times he would just eat cornbread and buttermilk. Still other times we would have nothing, or mamaw would eat cheese and crackers late at night.
No matter the reason, these late night kitchen sessions are some of my treasured memories of staying with my grandparents.
And when I poured that bowl of cereal last night I heard papaw’s voice in my heart. My eyes spilled tears into my bowl as I imagined what they must be doing in Heaven together.
Grief isn’t a one time event. Yes, it hangs on tight in the early days, but slowly loosens it grip over time, while never truly letting go. Over the years something will trigger its grip to tighten and the tears flow again.
It can be a smell, a song, visiting a special place, or even a bowl of cereal.
And when it happens it’s best to let the tears flow as the memories wash over the heart and bring a stinging comfort, like a medicine applied to a wound.
Grief heals slowly, but I’m convinced it will never be complete until we reach the shores of Heaven and hold our loved ones in our arms again.