This I Believe

Betty - Knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on October 11, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family

This I believe. I believe that answers to the questions in my heart are all to be found in a walk outdoors. To lay on the bed and stare at the ceiling is fruitless. To lay on the grass and stare into the skies brings me wonder and humility, and ultimately the calm needed to face my thoughts.

Nineteen years ago, in the month of October, my father was dying a slow death–in a coma, in a hospital, while my mother and I took turns every hour or so to go in and talk to him. We knew he could hear us, we just knew. Those were the longest hours of my adult life, yet some of the best. After each turn talking to my dad, I’d walk outside and talk to the sky. In a way, it was like a surreal vacation to me; if my father’s illness hadn’t called me home, I’d be hard at work all day long and taking care of three small kids and a husband and a dog and a home. Instead, I could talk to my dad and say everything I’d never said to him, let him really know his daughter, then stare into the blue sky and try to make sense of it all. Why wouldn’t he let go? What weren’t we saying that he needed to hear before he could let go?

i never found that answer, but I found my peace in those sad days by walking outside and searching the skies. The birds, the breeze, the cool crisp air all gave me comfort–the beauty of our natural world was a worthy final home for my dad that year, and later, my mom. October sky is a special blue and the answers are there; I believe in the healing power of nature. It’s magic.