Thoughts from Christine’s funeral

Yesterday Larry, Erin and I drove to San Angelo to attend Christine’s funeral. We came home the same day. Today I feel drained of all energy.

Last night was a difficult night. I fell asleep almost instantly from fatigue, but awoke about 2:30AM and was unable to get back to sleep for a couple of hours. I awoke this morning about 7:30.

While I lay awake, I was reflecting on what Fr. Tom said in his homily. He spoke about a silversmith who prepares his silver by heating the metal to a high temperature until he knows that it is ready to work. Fr. Tom said that the process reminded him of what God does. He said that when God looks at our souls and see His true reflection in our souls, then He calls us home. During the homily I thought about the state of my own soul. Though I have worked very hard to develop my relationship with God, I guess that God cannot see Himself yet in my soul. I thought of how Christine and Jean both suffered – physically and emotionally – in their lives. My life, by contrast, has been relatively free of physical suffering. I have suffered emotionally in my married life, as everyone does, and in the times spent helping our parents especially when they passed away.

When reflecting on how Christine and I worked together to care for our parents, I recognized, even then, that Christine’s efforts were expended out of love. On my part the effort was more likely due to the duty that I thought that I owed them. What a difference that makes! What a difference it shows in the state of one’s soul. Why am I so deficient in love? Why was my duty so important to me?

I can remember the time when I first drove to San Angelo alone. On the way home I was reflecting about their situation – this was even before dad became ill. They were growing older, that was obvious. Mom was doing little and dad was trying to keep everything together. Somewhere between Burnet and Llano I decided that I would go there often to help. My help was mostly related to cooking for them and putting food in their freezer, so that dad would have foods to heat and prepare for him and mom. Once dad became ill with the brain tumor, my help was more frequent and varied. There is no question that I expended a lot of time and energy in their behalf – but why don’t I believe that it was love that was driving me efforts? I don’t know that I have ever felt love, not the kind that Christine experienced. Maybe I am too “cerebral”, trying always to figure out the whys and hows  of things.

What it all comes down to, I think, is that I am not a person that I truly respect for I don’t have within me those qualities that are important. No wonder God doesn’t want me.

And I looked at Jill yesterday, who can hardly walk due to her illnesses. She has gout in her feet, her legs look horrible – they are swollen and red and scared. She is devastated that she has lost another sister. She has had cancer, which I didn’t believe at the time. She has diabetes and COPD which has come from her smoking. She has poor circulation. I know that she is in a lot of pain. What will happen to her now? For years I have just tolerated her, while I have heard Christine say that she loved her though she didn’t like Jill very much. Jill has led a strange and unusual life. She has had friends who are convicted felons. She has done some things that are reprehensible. And yet Christine said she loved her because Jill was her sister. I never felt that love, but as with my parents, I did my duty. How pathetic is that?

Maybe I am the sociopath because I cannot feel love.