11 July 2017

Staying in the Lane

As I was driving to the Seattle temple by myself for the first time after my arrival in Washington last month, I began to feel very sad that David, my late husband, was not beside me. I felt I had made great progress in the last few months in usually remembering him happily, but at this moment, thinking about how, long ago, he had carefully given me the driving directions I was now carefully following brought tears to my eyes.

Suddenly, my mood completely changed. My mind was flooded with joy as that memory from a decade ago came forcefully into focus. I recalled David’s voice repeating to me the important advice I needed to follow if I was to arrive at the temple on time, “Stay in the lane, Rosalie!” It now struck me in a new way that I knew could help me deal with the waves of sorrow that still threaten to engulf me from time to time.

Since David had always enjoyed driving way more than I did, when we attended sessions in the Seattle temple, he always drove us. Although I noticed our surroundings, I mostly enjoyed our conversations, and didn’t pay close attention to how we got there.

We had neither smart phones nor a GPS in our car in those days, so when I decided one day to attend the temple on my own, I asked David to give me detailed directions, which he cheerfully did. I realized that for most of the way, I would recognize easily which way to turn from one street to another.

What I did fear, greatly fear, was the last few miles, when I needed to exit from the multi-lane I-405 highway, onto I-90--but then only go as far as the second exit, because that’s the one that would immediately lead me to the street leading to the temple parking lot.

I had visions of getting trapped in the I-90 West entrance lane when I needed to go east. Or, assuming I did manage to take the I-90 going east, I was worried that in the confusion of traffic crossing in front of me from both the left and the right, I would somehow end up exiting into an unknown neighborhood.

When I expressed these fears to David, he told me to calm down, and concentrate on one particular important transition. He assured me that as long as I got into the I-90 East entrance lane well in advance, I would have no problem getting onto the correct exit lane that led to the temple, because the one led directly into the other. He warned me to pay no attention to cars rapidly switching lanes around me. “Once you are in the I-90 East entrance lane,” he repeated, “stay in the lane, and you’ll be fine.”

Now, ten years later, still working hard at understanding my new role as a widow, I was finally feeling that I was doing fairly well at re-framing memories of David in positive, uplifting ways. In addition to focusing mainly upon the inspiring experiences of our marriage partnership, I was increasingly becoming open to learning and growing in new ways, much as I imagine David is learning and growing in the Spirit World. 

In that moment in my car when I was tempted to forget that new found equilibrium, and relapse into depressing and useless longing for things that cannot be, it’s as if David came to cheerfully remind once again, as he has in the past, to focus outwards, and to appreciate the opportunities as well as the responsibilities that I am meant to have in this mortal life until my mission on earth is completed.

Now that I have finally come to a mental, emotional, and spiritual lane of travel that not only brings me joy and satisfaction on my journey, but also promises to lead to the place where I want spend eternity, I need to keep my hand steady on the wheel--and make sure I remember David’s good advice that still holds true:

“Just stay in the lane, Rosalie, stay in the lane, and you’ll be fine.”


Karen Romney said...

What a sweet reminder, Rosalie. I know I too have lanes in my life that I must stay in to avoid discouragement. Your dear companion is watching over you.
Karen Romney

SilverRain said...

I needed to hear this so badly. I know your grief is hard to bear. The love between you and your husband brings me so much joy, even as a distant observer. Thank you, Rosalie.

Melissa C said...

Thank you for sharing, Hermana Stone. It was beautifully written and brought me joy and the spirit. Much love to you, Hermana Humes.

Susana Oviedo said...

Querida amiga, me encantaron tus palabras y me emocionaron . Gracias! Te quiero mucho!