Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage is available in paperback and on kindle and is being reprinted on Catholic News Agency with author’s permission. Cheryl’s non-fiction book is called Our Jewish Roots: A Catholic Woman’s Guide to Fulfillment Today by Connecting with Her Past.Chapter Thirty-Two
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Rachel was able to join Miriam to drive Beth to the airport. The women rode in silence. Sitting in the back seat, Beth looked out the window at the people and streets that she would always remember fondly. Unwilling to look forward and see Rachel and Miriam in front of her, Beth was reminded of when she was young and would visit her grandmother. She spent most of her holidays at her grandparent’s home. They were magical for Beth, even as a teenager.
She remembered, however, the tremendous pain she would experience at the end of her time at her grandparent’s. Her grandfather would drive her home and Beth would sit in the passenger seat, staring out her side window, unwilling to look forward for fear her grandfather would see her tear stained face. Each visit ended with the same torturous ride home.
Now, here she was, forty-eight years old and reliving the pain of leaving people she loved. And to return to what? To a home filled with unhappiness and sorrow? She wasn’t sure she could bear it at this point in her life.
That was what most perplexed Beth: her own children’s often sour attitude. She gave them a home that was, to the best of Beth’s ability, filled with love and stability. It was what Beth had always wanted and having given it to her own children, she felt as if they had rejected it in every way they possibly could; through words and through actions. From Beth’s perspective, they had seemingly rejected her gifts of hearth and home. Now she was just tired.
Miriam, Rachel, and Beth arrived at the airport much sooner than Beth had hoped. Where was traffic when you needed it? she wondered. Rachel popped the trunk open and took out Beth’s suitcases. Miriam took a place in line as the three women remained mute.
Soon Beth would be separated from Rachel and Miriam and yet words still eluded her. As she stepped forward, her turn to relinquish her luggage and move past security Miriam spoke, “May the God who brought us together know our deep gratitude. And may He, blessed be His holy name, keep this special friendship in the palm of His hand.”
Teary eyed, Rachel added, “May our memories of this time we had together never diminish or tarnish with age, but may they always reflect the glory of His kingdom that exists between mere humans when He so ordains.”
And then together, all three women said, “Amen!” as they hugged one another for the last time. Separating, no one chose to look back, knowing that the past was a gift from God and that the future was His as well, and for that there could be no sadness.
The previous chapters are listed below: