January 10, 2012

The Last Battle

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 3:37 pm by letterstoelias

(this was mostly written last night – but I fell asleep before posting it . . . there is one demonstration of growth, I suppose.  Though I still struggle with sleep now and then, 2yrs ago I would have stayed up all night to finish it.  I’m still not convinced I have finished it as I would like, but so it goes….)

Last spring, we learned that the year end performance for the dance studio the girls are with was to be based on the book, ‘The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe’.  One book of seven that make up The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

I knew we had one book which held all seven around the house somewhere . . . it was Elias’.  The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Myst, and Narnia – he was a fan of fantasy novels.  I thought it would be nice to read the story before the dance show so the girls could understand it a little better, and I figured they would enjoy the story as well.

The book wasn’t on the bookshelf.  I wasn’t sure where to find it.  I was about to go to the library to take it out when, one day for some reason, I had gone to look in Elias’ nightstand.  I don’t recall why – I wasn’t looking for the book, but there it was.

The girls both loved the story, and so much that, once done, we decided to go back to the beginning (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is not the first of the 7 books) and read them all.

Over the months we read it – roughly a chapter a night.  Sometimes more, sometimes taking a break from it for a bit when other books took up more interest.  But recently we started the final book in the series of seven – The Last Battle.

It was exciting to know we were going to find out how it all ended.  As one of the chapters was titled, the pace quickened and the last couple of nights I read a chapter or two at the dinner table as the girls ate as well (a nice change from me dozing off at the table waiting for C to finish eating…).

E has been fascinated by the book.  She wrote a letter to Aslan once.  Role plays the characters all the time.  Talks of her wish to go to Narnia one day.  This was a common recurrence.  She was excited to finish the book so we could start it all over again.

As we got closer to the end I started to piece together some of what I thought the ending may be like.  What Narnia and Aslan represented in some sense, though I still loved various twists and surprises and questions along the way.  I don’t wish to spoil it for anyone who may want to read it (or see the movie as I believe there’s one coming out soon?) but it’s difficult to write without giving much away so please stop here if you don’t want to know any more …

Tonight we reached the final chapter.  Farewell to Shadowlands.  The final 8 pages of 767.  As I reached the top of the final page, I  could feel the tears coming.  I continued to choke out the words as best as I could.  It was, basically, as I had suspected, but it still got me.

I could see E trying to figure it out, and C in her compassion simply put her arm around me and leant in to give me a kiss as she always does when I cry.  I paused to assure them that I was happy with the ending and that it was beautiful.  It was sad too, but it was ok.  A mix of happy and sad tears.

When I finally managed to finish, I spoke to the girls a bit about my thoughts on what it all meant, and how it could relate to our lives.  Another opportunity to talk about soul, spirit.  That our bodies do not make us who we are, only what’s inside us, and that never dies.  How Daddy is all around us, that we’ll see him again one day.  I could see E’s wheels turning.  Trying to put her own (almost) 7yr old thoughts and emotions to it all.

She went to sleep thinking of the book, and of her Daddy.  And I will do the same.  So, terribly sad that his story here has ended, but every day I will continue doing what I can to at least keep it alive.  Hopeful that the new story he’s started is – as in the book – too beautiful to write.  That he’s happy watching us figure out the rest of ours here without him.

As it is in Narnia, so it is in life, or well, death  “For us, it is the end of all the stories . . . For them it was only the beginning of the real story.  All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page:  now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read:  which goes on for ever:  in which every chapter is better than the one before.”


P.S.  I Love You


1 Comment »

  1. Debbie said,

    Oh my. Crying along with you. Hoping it’s true, that they are happy writing the first chapter of their great stories. But your words “watching us figure out the rest of ours here without him” made me catch my breath. That part is so difficult. And you’re doing a great job! Love and hugs to you!!

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