I watched the windshield wipers clear the rain…for a moment. It wasn’t raining hard, but the drizzle peppered the windshield before the wipers could make another pass.
My dad was a stickler for safe driving. (At least when the rest of us drove or were in the car. But there are enough stories to know he also had his share of fun, and potentially not the safest, times.) A clear windshield is part of safe driving, but I’ve learned we can all handle a little different amounts of water on the front windshield. I try to keep as much water out of my view as possible. There’s something about the raindrops that catch light, especially at night with oncoming headlights, that bothers me. For my dad, looking through a windshield peppered with small droplets of rain didn’t bother him. I’d rather use the automated interval setting on my wipers, even if it sometimes clears a bit too often or not quite enough. He’d rather reach down and use the quick setting for one swipe whenever he needed it during a light rain.
As I watched the light sprinkles fall on the windshield and the wipers clear them every now I then, just a month or so after dad died, I thought about the similar process of grief. It comes in waves. Sometimes it’s light yet persistent. Other times, it’s a blinding deluge. And windshield wipers help, but they don’t take the grief away, just as they don’t stop the rain. They just deal with what’s coming.
We can’t take our grief away no matter what we attempt. It’s still there, coming in light sprinkles or driving downpours. And we deal with it in different ways. We see through it differently. The important thing is that we continue through it. It might feel as if we’re not moving at times, that we can’t get any momentum to go forward, that it’s too overwhelming. But then someone encourages us, we receive a note, a memory gives us a ray of hope, and we breathe enough to know we’re still alive. We’re still moving forward. We still have purpose.
We can’t stop the rain, but we can keep our windshield wipers on.