By Josie Barone
If there is no one to notice, does it really matter?
If there is no one to notice, do I matter?
I shaved my legs today–a feat because it’s likely been since New York since the razor touched the leg. But before gross enters in, I am hardly a gorilla, more like a peach.
Still, why bother? I wear running shorts, capris, boxers at night. No one is brushing beside me other than the occasional “rub-by” of the four-legged variety, when one leans into the leg for petting.
What’s the point?
I used to wonder why, at Christmas, if someone lived far away from population, why bother with an outdoor light display, if no one else sees.
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear, does it make a sound?
I wonder the same about many things as of late.
Does it matter if I make my bed, if no one sees my bedroom besides me?
Does it matter if I shave my legs, if no one is around to brush against them?
Does it matter?
Do I matter?
I am sitting with this because there is something deeper going on that my emotions have yet to connect to…
I’m relating with one woman in the Bible as of late, not because I too am female (Though one may question if I let hair growth continue, without cut), but because of what I am noticing.
The women sick for 12 years?
She was alone in the wide open.
She was alone in the crowd.
But here is Jesus, entering into her moment, when no one notices, acknowledging her touch before anything else.
He felt her pain.
I have a small amount of his hair saved in a plexiglass jar. The hospice caretaker came in hours before he died, cleaned him up, and the space at the hairline, the place where his black hair was streaked with gray– I snipped it and tucked it away, somehow sensing the need for it later.
I used to go to that spot often, twirling it…
How can someone who was so sick have such healthy looking hair?
I pull it out on occasion, rub between my thumb and finger, allowing emotions to move in.
Remembering the times I’d rub the back of his head while he drove.
Tears. Healing though as I place it back, and breathe a sigh, similar to relief.
An 8 X 10 pic of us, smiling, sits nearby.
The picture can’t capture his touch.
I miss his touch.
Pictures can’t capture touch.
A friend told me early on to not run into the arms of another man in my pain. Oh, no worries there. One time, maybe six months ago, a man put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me close without my permission, and I nearly cracked in the middle of a crowded room. The air escaped my lungs, as I made my way to my vehicle and choked and sobbed all the way home.
He entered Bill’s space. Likely innocent, but without permission.
I miss his voice too.
I have several old voicemails on my phone, I find myself yearning to hear him. I tell myself, “Don’t go there.” But I still do.
At the first, “Hey Baby,” tears escape.
But strangely, it heals.
I made my bed. The wood wall that serves as a headboard–Bill built that.
Every night, a smile settles on my face at the sight of it, as a mental pic enters of him, sweating all over the place in the midst of hard labor, while I act as foreman of the project, telling him, “No, that one can’t go there. Put this one here instead.”
Yes, a tree makes a sound. And yes, someone always hears it fall to the ground.
And, what I’m noticing is this:
Peace settles in, as I feel the arms of Jesus pull me close.
Josie Barone is on a journey to rekindle a desire to live after losing the love of her life. Day by day. Step by step.