Thinking more about the words I came upon—was given—in Provincetown . . . this is not to say that I didn’t find comfort in my religion, Episcopalianism. I did. So far there have been three ohs in the widow process: the Provincetown bench was the second; the first was when Dan was ill but still alive.
I had hauled myself in to the 8 a.m. service at my church one Sunday. We had a guest celebrant, who preached from the floor, without notes. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but his theme was “God’s plan.” God had a plan, he said, we just didn’t know what it was.
Oh, I thought.
Is that what this is about.
|Lake Taghkanic, frozen, danceable|
It had been my plan to grow old with Dan. He was smart and witty and interested in everything. He could be, shall we say, difficult, but in my forties I had realized that he was worth it, that one day, when perhaps mobility was limited, smart and witty would be what I wanted.
But that wasn’t God’s plan, I realized that Sunday in church. God had another plan for me. It might be better, it might be worse. I would find out.
In the grief and fear that made up my life that summer, this idea offered a glimmer of hope. It was, in its own strange way, exciting. Once, I had thought I could predict the outlines of my life. Now I couldn’t. At the very least, I might not spend the rest of my life frightened and grief-stricken. Things might, possibly, get better. Life began again to stand open to me.