I have to tell him now.
“I am no mystical apparition from Eve’s spiritual wonderment. I’m simply a living person.”
He is not asking.
He is telling me. “She calls herself Enola now — always Alone. It’s not fitting that she told you she was ‘Eve.’ That was the name our papa wanted for her because, he said, she was the first woman born to our family and it was the name of ‘first woman created by God.’ But every Christian knows it is ‘by one woman that sin came on earth.’ So her namesake is responsible for all of original sin and maybe it is because of Eve that we have these punishments of plagues and deaths.”
“Actually, I blame the scholars of Latin theology for winding Paul’s words into a doctrine called Original Sin. God’s creation is life and goodness not a natural infusion of sin. Dear little Eve was always such a friendly and happy child. Being alone, that doesn’t suit her. I’m so sorry to learn of that.”
“How was it that you knew her as a child?” He has a halting caution in his question.
“Now I sit here with you on this hill of graves talking with you as though we were strangers together newly making one another’s acquaintance. You have asked why I would come here when I have no scars of plague.
“I came in hopes I would find you here. I did have scars. They healed. I did tuck you into bed and kiss you goodbye, my son, and I did have a terrible death from plague and a long and morose healing from death and from sickness. By a strange gift of Jesus again and again I am alive and well yet always healing from death, from scars, from wearing old. And I still remember our joy as family together and so I still grieve. My long years of grief are for our family — your mother and your sisters and brothers – my grief never heals. I still long for you and all those I love. I only hope you can share with me in my joy of finding you strong and well and as I see a man of great goodness. I am so proud to be your papa.”
He puts his hands over his ears and turns away from me.
“No! You are telling me something terrible that can’t even true! My papa is gone and I have already visited the stones outside the church walls and I have smothered him under flowers for forgetting. Leave me alone!”
(Story continues tomorrow, 10-31-19)