“Look up. Look waaaaaay up,” were the words of The Friendly Giant in 1986. This American children’s television host invited the viewer into his miniature living room where he pulled out a chair just for you by the fireplace. Then an image of his fake leather boots appeared 10x the scale of the scene on the television as he invited little Sissy or young Bobby to follow the camera up to the smiling eyes waiting to tell a story, waiting to introduce you to a host of characters. Rusty the Rooster was a silly-looking puppet yet their banter held my attention all the same. Even though by 1986 I was not a kiddo anymore!
We often look up to see the wonder beyond us: gazing at the twinkling stars so visible in the crisp Fall air or maybe oooing and ahhhing at the bright ornaments adorning the department store Christmas trees already on display before Thanksgiving. There is something magical about a beautiful sight just beyond our gaze, just above our smaller human frame. When that object is but ordinary the wonder may be less yet the opportunity to reflect may be just as profound too.
The ceiling above my bed of sickness holds much thought these days. On a Monday I might see a simple popcorn ceiling in the same building contractor’s white paint of every home built that very year. A few days later it may be the seam tape of the electrical lines painted to match the composite panel lining the roof of an aluminum travel trailer. Two months ago it was a bright blue shade sail floating softly up, gently down above my patio chair when the weather was still sunny and warm. Such simple forms that served to give me pause from the mayhem of the hours that dragged on before . . .
Times like these are best spent dwelling in the presence of the Lord. No words fill my mind in those kind of moments. The tears are already spent; the energy almost completely drained away. Such is the aftermath of uncontrollable seizure attacks that plague my weakened frame day after night after day for hours without end. The pattern continues despite new anti-microbial treatments, tests, consultations, prayer, tears, strategies new and old. New pains come and find a way to stay. There is nothing left to say. There is nothing left to do but to dwell, I guess.
Even love can be like this I suppose when it hurts so bad and you still can’t seem to shake the pain away. All you do is focus on the form that you knew or still know that stands in front of you when only a blank slate emptied of your future together remains. Turn to the left, turn to the right, stand up, sit down, and unlike the cheer song at the football games in 1986, there is no fight! Fight! FIGHT! when love goes away for good. Oh how I long for the familiarity of the pains I had known long ago. It would be so much easier to handle than the emptiness of my heart this night. Yup. The joy is gone! Gone! GONE!
So what’s a middle-aged gal to do in the middle of the night and there is nothing to look up to anymore? When I have written more words from every angle that my heart can imagine and no new inspiration comes to fill the page, gosh, what will I do? Not much, really. Just wait I guess. Tomorrow is a new day and it will be here before you know it. Maybe something good will happen, eh?
In the meantime, won’t you hang in there with me? Here, I have pulled up a chair for you too Gentle Reader. The Friendly Giant is now known as Immanuel and has a special story to help us end this little time together. It’s a great read for a bedtime story at any time of the day, I promise.
I do hope you enjoy it. JJ
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