There we were; the last day we were to ever live in my childhood home- the only home or life I’ve ever known- everything I knew, tomorrow, would officially be only our history.
I couldn’t sleep. I was being evicted from the only life I knew. Every room was empty of furniture but full of scraps and left behind possessions that were either deemed unworthy of the trip or simply abandoned because we were just too exhausted physically and emotionally to pack and carry one more fucking box for a trip to nowhere. Packed away to see again on the other side, or, maybe not.
My dad was staying in the vacant house for the last night. On an air mattress in my brothers room he laid down- post car accident, post phone breaking, post demolition.
I couldn’t bare the thoughts of him being alone. I decided right there- I would be in charge now, and, I’ll stay in this place with him.
I’ll take care of Dad and I’ll take care of this family. And for the next decade, this was my fight.
I couldn’t sleep- how could I? I was in charge. This family needed a leader- a strong one. A warrior.
As a child every night my mother or father tucked my siblings and I into bed with a prayer that almost always ended in “may your angels camp around and about us”… It never made much sense to me as a child but the consistency comforted me.
Once I heard my dads snore I gently left the mattress careful not to wake him. He needed to rest. Tomorrow was going to be cold and ugly.
I walked throughout each room as if to say goodbye; and as I reached the end of the house I was in the living room. The only light to help me see was the moon and the starlight beaming through the giant window in our family room.
It was a December night, cold, and it got dark early. At least the weather was telling the truth.
As I crossed my arms to cover my stomach I peered out the window into our backyard. It was beautiful. I let my mind go quiet for a moment in the stillness. The dark beautiful winter night. Stars shining. Snow sparkling. These are my favorite kind of nights.
Then I remembered a story I heard from a family friend about a night like this. Adele once told me about a vision she had. Late one winter night when he husband and family were up against loss and tribulations of all kinds- she stayed up late to talk to God. As she looked out her window she saw angels. Huge angels, giant. They were huddled, camped out- in their yard all around her home.
My eyes grew watery. And I drew in a deep breath and closed my eyes- too drained to speak, my thoughts cried this; “Jesus- we need angels that fight because I’m losing strength”.
I slowly made my way back to the bedroom where my dad was sound asleep. Tomorrow was coming quick and I decided to try and rest. As I let my head hit the pillow and exhale the tension from my body I remembered- “My maker is [my] bridegroom, His name, God-of-Angel-Armies.” Isaiah 54