Life is racing past, at the speed of, well, life. I sometimes cannot get a handle on it. There is so much happening! LOL! The best thing? Spring has sprung. And the greening of the state, and the flowers starting to bloom, lightens the spirit, for sure! And I have been thinking about restoration and regeneration and life. The dark of the winter is over. The cold, the snows, the stale air. My Mother’s Day gift from my husband was a new storm door. It replaces our Magic Mesh we usually use. It has a retractable screen, so when you just want to enjoy the glorious sunshine, you can have it open and it still retains the heat in the house. So the screen only comes down on the upper half of the door. And truly, the Light lifts the Spirit. But when you need the rush of fresh air, it is all there. Truly wonderful. It’s the little things….
Today, no rain! At least I hope so. I plan to repot some new Dahlia starters I purchased. I am a Dahlia convert from always growing roses. I can’t wait for them all to bloom. But I am savoring the process, because before we know it, summer will be over. So I am going to go through this season, and enjoy the moments.
This month has been rough. A friend I have had since I was 14 years old is gravely ill. She fell, broke some bones, and required surgery. She then developed pneumonia. And we are all very, very, concerned. And it has brought friends together who have been separated by miles and years. And it has been good. But it has also brought to light that we are aging. And there is far less time ahead of me, than is behind me. And it is sobering.
I’ve touched on this before, because it keeps being brought to my attention – this whole thing about dying and death and facing our mortality. And because I have been brought up short, waking in nightmares, frightened for my family, I am re-visiting it, until it makes sense. So bear with me, it may take me awhile. LOL.
Trying to mesh these feelings I have, without getting into another panic. I think as we get older, and we talk about different things with our friends, something will be brought up and you will realize it occurred decades ago. Literally decades. And that is kind of scary. My kids have kids. And our grandchildren are all starting to reach school age. For my husband and I, that is when our lives were in full gear. We were so busy. We homeschooled and we lived on dairy farms. We were busy farming our own vegetables, raising 4-H animals, belonging to various clubs and groups, letting our kids play soccer and baseball, take swimming lessons, go camping and on field trips. We were trying to enjoy our time with our sons. It passed by so very fast. When our oldest son walked into that recruiting office, after tearfully saying goodbye with promises of letters from boot camp in Georgia, I bawled. It was my first experience of finishing my mothering of a child, and letting him go. And he was gone. Out of the nest. On the opposite side of the country. I clung to the sons I still had at home. And before I knew it, our second was off to college in Montana. We have had a wonderful 9 years of only-child-syndrome with our youngest, but this month, off he went to learn a trade at a site literally 5+ hours away. Empty nest came in with a crash.
I never thought of myself as old. I recall my dad telling me that he knew I thought he looked old on the outside, but inside he was still 18 years old. I remember laughing and thinking, “Old man, you have no clue.” Ha-Ha-Ha. And now my youngest son says, “Oh mom, you have no clue.” Yeah. The generational shift. It happened. My in-laws have both passed away. Both of my parents have different types of a dementing illness, so in many ways, they are gone, too. So now I am them, my kids are me, and my grandkids are my kids. Whoa.
Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
I know the Lord is growing closer. In my days, I look at my home and see Him in every room. I placed religious art everywhere. It is what I prefer to look at. It keeps me grounded. And I feel closer to God. I find myself saying the Jesus Prayer over and over, throughout my day, “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Just as a way to stay focused and in constant contact with God. Because I do realize time is a treasure. We only have so much of it, and my hour glass is looking a tad bit bottom heavy these days.
I am obsessed with a TV show entitled, “Supernatural.” And when I say that, I mean I have watched every episode through Season 13, and am almost done with Season 14. They are filming Season 15 now, and it will be the last one. The show is not where you go to get your theology. They trample traditional theological premises. They mix all sorts of mythology with Christianity, as well as some Judaism, and even some Islamic prayers. It is the cosmic joining of the world’s great religions in one TV show. And the battle is constantly one of good vs. evil. The Winchester boys have died and come back so many times, it has become a joke on the show. When they finally introduced who God was on the show, I was surprised and yet, not. But the episodes when God speaks with Metatron, his Prophet and writer (in the Old Testament, this would have been Enoch, in Genesis and it was the name given to him after he became an Archangel), were heart-breaking. God had sort of lost touch with people. He said he did not want to be a “helicopter” parent and was hoping mankind would have learned from all the examples and lessons they had throughout the past two millennia. But when Metatron tells God that when he was in HIs Presence, he felt everything – light, dark, happiness, sadness, warmth and all the things one entity could feel, he knew he was alive. But when God removed His Presence, Metatron was lost and alone and unbelievably sad. When God tells Metatron He did not choose him to be His writer/prophet, but He just looked and pointed at the angel closest to the door, Metatron tells God that God did, indeed choose him. Because God created him, that is when God chose him. And the interchange between these two characters – over the two intense episodes – brought me to tears. It may be silly, but there is much truth in the writing of this show. No, I do not get my theology there, but I do see my faith grow. Because as dismissive as God was being with Metatron, Metatron chose to believe, to have faith, that God chose him when He created him. We are all created by God. And He chose to create each one of us. This thought brings me such great comfort.
In a recent documentary about the singing group, Chicago, I was brought to tears when they discussed the death of their lead singer, Terry Kath. It was so sudden, and unexpected, that it tore the band apart. Several of them made such amazing comments, that were part of the prompt for this post. And some of them are, “This thing, this shell, we travel through life with? It is not the end. It is our essence. It is our being, that is eternal.” And “This temporary housing we have ends, but our spirits live forever.” These are some hardcore, partying, 60s loving, musicians. They have been through quite a lot in the 40+ years they have been a band (the longest in Rock and Roll history). And death was not something they expected to share. But they were all brought to their knees when their bandmate suddenly died. And it was so heartening to hear them invoke their faith when they recalled their emotional memories of his death. (He died in 1978, just 31 years old).
And as I ponder my mortality, I know, logically, that we move from one plane of existence to another when we die. I do not believe being placed in a tomb is the end. If I did believe that, I would be in total panic mode, because time is running out. Time to make memories; time to love those in my life whom I deeply care about. And I know my time is limited, and I have less than I would like to have, to make memories with my grandchildren, with my friends. I acknowledge that. My faith inspires me, and I do believe, that I will live in my memories, in my best moments, with God in Paradise, when I leave this part of my life. Will I get a front row seat? Probably not. I am not a Saint. But I am fairly certain I will be at the eternal banquet. And because my awareness of my mortality has been heightened of late, it inspires me to be, truly, the best person I can be. For me. For my peace and for my salvation. But because being my best honors the gift of life I was given. To not squander this amazing life I have been given. So to be trite, take moments to enjoy the roses you plant. Take a day to sit with your kids in a field of flowers and just enjoy their company. Go on that ridiculously expensive vacation if you want to do that. Do the things you desire most to do. Me? Time with family and friends. Time is the most precious commodity we have. It truly is all we own – our time. So, be careful how you spend your time, and with whom.