And in all things, this too shall pass. I never thought it would. I didn’t think the dove with the broken wing would ever soar again, but it has. The bones have somehow been reset and mended and the glorious bird is hoping to take flight again, to soar like it never could before. My faith didn’t have room for answered prayers. Those things just don’t happen. I guess I put my God inside a box. You were supposed to be a statistic, an all-American badge of honor, a rite of passage. But you showed them. People change. They grow apart. And they can grow back together again. I was rocked with agony that mid-summer’s eve some three years ago. I wanted to scream to the blue, blue sky, I wanted to fall on the ground and bleed, I wanted to cry until I couldn’t cry ever again. I tried to find grace that night, I tried to find hope. I let the emotions come, I let the reactions come and I typed like a fever, letting the words flow and flow and not pausing to see how it sounded or if the tenses were correct, just getting it out. And when the gushing flow slowed to a calming river I stopped and tried to smell the roses. I never thought they’d grow again. It was simple and sweet and I hope you know what you’re doing. People change and things change and life changes so you better get used to it. Sometimes people become so ingrained you could die, and sometimes something beautiful happens when your back is turned and they wake from their slumber and want to smell the roses with you. I can’t explain what happened. I wouldn’t want to. All I know is my sensibility is no longer pulled to two different states, to two different loyalties. I’ve listened to your words and I’ve watched your actions. I’ve raised my voice in accusation and pounded the steering wheel in frustration. I’ve sat with the phone to my ear, nodding and not saying a word, simply taking it in. I’ve been the listener, the counselor, the advisor, always trying not to overstep my bounds, always wondering if it would ever mean anything, always wanting to scream, always hanging up the phone and letting my head drop in my hands wondering if it was ever really worth it. I don’t claim credit. It’s completely beyond me. I never even had a chance to say I told you so and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Now I’m just wondering what happened. Sudden changes and quick plans and it’s all sewed up again. You can still see the tear, but it’s one piece again. That’s more than most people can say. I’ve survived ground zero, and it’s not such a bad place. Good can come here. For all the frustration and anger and hatred and remorse and sadness and self-pity there can be healing. There can be restoration. Flowers grow in cemeteries and people laugh at funerals. Just remember what it took. Remember what this means, what those words you whispered with tears welling in your eye, remember the vow you took. Surely you can’t break them twice. What God has joined together again, let no one separate. There is always grace, buried somewhere deep beneath the hurt, and there’s a new life waiting, not just for some, but for each of us.

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