Driving past the family home as gloomy grayish blue clouds dim the brilliance of the autumn leaves, I noticed a piece of garbage in one of the flowerbeds. Making a mental note to stop on my way from work to pick up the unsightly litter, a whispering voice floated through my brain.
What are you doing about the messy state you allowed yourself to be in the last few months? What are you doing about the scattered indifference to the enjoyed interests that once reminded you of Me? I know you are grieving. However, you allow circumstances around you to dictate how you feel and respond. Wake up! Change your focus. I Am still here. Clear the debris and enjoy Me.
With the popularity of social media and the lack of teaching the social graces, sending greeting cards through the postal service may become a lost art. Do not jump to any conclusions. I appreciate greetings sent electronically just as much. However, there is a different aspect to receiving a folded sheet of card stock with a pretty graphic and printed sentiment. It is a physical expression of one’s love and care. So, today, this first birthday without a card from Mom and Dad, I will reminisce over my collection of cards received over the years and frequently read Isaiah 43:1-3; tangible reminders I am valuable and not forgotten.
Iridescent glass, sparkling china and knickknacks, a drawer full of bread ties, kerosene lanterns, stove-pipe covers on display. The soft glow of converted gas lamps, clocks with silent faces staring back at you, a welcoming field stone fireplace, the creak of a staircase where each child learned to “alleybump”. A gallery of family photos lining the walls waiting to tell the family history, the “circle” each child traveled on the first floor; all represent the unmistakable smell of stability, familiarity, and unselfish love. That is what envelopes me as I sit in the quietness of home; the house where our parents raised us and where our own children learned the essence of what it means to be family. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 22:6)
More thoughts written February 19th as our family sat at our Mother’s side while in hospital.
These days my thoughts often gravitate to the book, Where the Red Fern Grows, written by Wilson Rawls in 1961. This coming of age story first adapted to film in 1974 follows the adventures of a young boy and his two-coonhound pups who are inseparable and learn lessons of true friendship, loyalty, heroics, and integrity. In the book, we learn of an old Cherokee legend that tells of a sacred red fern that grows between their two graves that only an angel can plant. I can’t help but compare Mom and Dad to the two pups. After 66 years together, they follow the same journey to heaven in quick succession. Dad completed his journey last week, while Mom continues with hers today. Will a red fern grow between their two graves? Not sure if I believe the legend but the symbolism it holds is very powerful. We humans need something tangible when dealing with life’s tragedies. For the young boy grieving the loss of his beloved dogs, the red fern tells him he is not alone. We too are not alone as we face losing another pillar of our family. But, are we losing them or sending them forward to help prepare a better place for the rest of us? (John 14:1-3)
My thoughts written February 8th after saying goodbye to our Dad. We know he is in heaven sitting with his Lord and family who went before. His journey of life has only just begun.
There was a point in my younger years when I loved roller coasters. Anticipation swiftly changed to exhilaration after climbing the highest peak followed by a lightening speed journey through the disorienting twists and turns, ending with a shout, let’s do that again. Yet, this roller coaster our family is riding is not so amusing but exhausting, and will not end with the same exclamation. One minute we ride the high of laughter and giddiness, the next we circle the lows of approaching uncertainty. It is during those sharp low curves our petite mother shares her wisdom with quiet grace; our job is not to understand the whys of this ride but to sit back trusting God with the controls to know what is best for us all. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Do you know what the first sign of Spring is? No, it is not the glistening wet roadways, nor the presence of daylight at 5pm. No, it is not the melting of snow and waterways, nor the warmth of sunshine or the delightful sound of chirping birds. It is the sudden appearance of monstrous potholes eating at the roadways overnight. Today I saw one big enough to throw a cow into. Well, almost.
I wrote that Facebook post several days ago after a daily commute to/from work left me feeling abused by the washboard type ride. We all know it takes just a little water to trickle its way through cracks in the pavement caused by wear and tear of traffic. All that water needs is freezing temperatures with the continuing weight of traffic, and POP, you have a vertical shaft big enough to drive your car into, resulting in hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damages.
But, I’ve been thinking, these destructive blisters in the surface of our roadways are not the only potholes we deal with. Some of us have hungry gorges eating our souls, chasms of pessimism, resentment, cynicism, and hate. All they need is one misdirected thought or word to encourage the erosion of relationships, the loss of good ol’ Bessie. ( Mark 7:20-22, James 3:2-6)