Finally the snow abated, the temperatures reached the dizzy heights of being above freezing and I was able to drive to my parents for New Year.
As I left it was a little foggy but nothing to worry about. I put our new Christmas CDs in the car. It felt like I was setting out as a different person. The car was the same, the journey one we’d made countless times. I’d driven the same route by myself with just the boys before, with Andrew working away there are so many things I am capable of doing on my own.
Andrew and I shared a love of listening to music. It has always been important to us. We would sit at his mixing desk listening to old records, we enjoyed looking in HMV for CDs (usually the older eighties “best of…” ones) and we were forever quoting song lyrics to each other. One day I might write a whole blog entry of just lyrics…
As I drove listening to the new CDs by Kings of Leon (son number one’s choice) and James Blunt (mine) it felt like I was re-writing the soundtrack to my life. Andrew may not have liked the first one but the second would have made it onto his iPod. Suddenly I was listening to music he would never hear. CDs we would never share.
There was a division between “before” and “after”. A clear distinction between “life with Andrew” and “life without”.
Some James Blunt lyrics jumped out at me as I drove…
Tell me why all the best laid plans
fall apart in your hands
and my good intentions never end
the way I meant?
It reminded me of all my plans that had turned to dust and snowflakes! Of how things never quite work out quite the way we wish….
I carried on through the fog. Fog lights on where the fog got thicker and then off again when it seemed to clear. Andrew always laughed at people who drove with fog lights on unnecessarily!
We stopped at our usual half way spot for coffee and cake. When we recommenced the journey the sun was trying to shine through the clouds. It was bliss being bathed in sunlight, albeit a weak winter sun through the glass of the windscreen. A touch of hope.
It wasn’t to last – soon we were deep in fog again and then then in heavy traffic.
As we turned off the main road onto the winding roads nearer my parents the fog got worse and worse. I drove slowly following the fog lights of the car ahead. Then that car turned off and I was the car in front!
Cautiously I edged forward using the lights from the cat’s eyes as a guide. I had driven along this road so many times but now I had no idea where I was. The Sat Nav told me where the next turning was and I managed to swing the car round in time.
“God please be with us and keep us safe” I prayed, immediately aware of how scary this was. I had prayed as we left that His angels would go before us and now I had the crazy of picture in my head of angels laying down each bright cat’s eye for me to follow.
God gave me this verse too “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119 verse 105.
I was also reminded of a journey with Andrew earlier in the year when we had been totally reliant on the Sat Nav to get us home. We had been to see Simply Red. The concert had been in a forest nearby and although it was well sign posted to get to the venue there were no signs back out to the main road. We followed a line of cars that turned off, but as we reached the edges of the trees they dispersed and we had no clue as to where we were!
The signposts were vague with names of small villages we’d never even heard of. Without our guide of C3PO and R2D2 we would never have got back. I was always suspicious of that “Jane” woman who gave directions but since Andrew had downloaded a Star Wars voice on the Sat Nav I had begun to trust it more.
We all need someone to follow and I’ve been grateful of the advice and support of those who have been here before, those who have lost a husband and been left with children to bring up on their own. These are the people who truly understand and knowing others have survived gives me hope.
I’m following their fog lights, just up ahead and they have travelled that stretch of road and know the twists and turns.
Then there are times I find myself being the trailblazer, negotiating a familiar road but with a different soundtrack. I hope and pray my words and experiences can be a help to those who follow my fog lights in the future.
And now I’m back all safe and sound wondering what 2011 will bring?
I pray peace for us all and a reliable set of lights ahead to show the way…
Happy New Year!