Today, feeling like I’ve stepped on millions of toes recently, I stepped back to look over some of the incidents that seem to have taken my attitude the wrong way recently. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, and that’s not a normal feeling for me. I prefer to feel a bit more in control of my life. So, it was definitely time to step out of the purgatory of victimhood and look around at what’s happening to make me feel like a victim in my own life.
Today, feeling a little under the gun and overwhelmed by life, I had already posted my woe-is-me comments, thinking life was just too much to get through, today. Then… I read this short blurb and realized that even though, this very moment may be overwhelming, I can do this day. I can do this hour. I can start this minute by being motivated to CHANGE what is wrong today and move above it, to accomplish my dream.
As provocative as it may sound, that suddenly took on new meaning over the past many hours. While I attempt to proceed in my life with some sort of understanding over the events of the past three weeks, the shock of realization brings to mind a commercial, where the strike phrase is… “I’ve looked over a lot of bodies and none of them have had an expiration date.”
Expiration, death, dark angels, end of life, all catch phrases for the same stupid awful change that comes after we’ve experienced the glory of God’s wonderful creation for a time, sometimes a short time… But for a time. With the beginning comes the end… I get that.
As my grandfather slipped away, those final years, I remember hearing him say, “I’m ready to meet Jesus.” The knowing that his days were numbered, and only God knew that number gave him a grace that is not totally uncommon. He never said he was comfortable with the process, just that he was ready for the end result. And, I know he wasn’t ready to leave Grandma. That was the catch 22 that left him holding on, those last few hours… The woman he’d loved for a lifetime, stood beside him, along with a daughter who had spent her life caring.
Those moments, on Christmas morning flew by in a flash. There were no long good byes. He’d had no warning. Life was there, then it was gone.
The next many years, Grandma missed him, but carried on without him. Her life filled up with times and places, people and things, but she never stopped longing for him. In those last weeks, I remember hearing her say, “I’m ready to meet Jesus. I miss Daddy (her nickname for Granddad), and it’s time to go home.” I knew she wasn’t talking about the rickety little house at 504 N. 11th. She had a better home, on a golden shore far away, where Granddad and Jesus were waiting for her. She was ready to go.
I heard the angels singing in that last sweet breath she took, as she drifted into the heavens and the arms of her true love. There was no greater joy or contentment on any woman’s face as she escaped the confines of earth and her tired body, and entered those Pearly Gates of Glory. Sweet blessed peace enveloped the room as the harps played out songs of welcome laced with the love of one of God’s children making her way into heaven.
Now, as an adult – I look back on those memories of childhood and young adulthood knowing that life has come full circle again. There may be no expiration date, but there’s a time to live…
The beating heart of another waits for that precious moment when she will see the face of God, hear heaven’s trumpet calling and witness the voice of angels singing and harps strumming out the delicate tremors of love’s embrace. Implications by Doctors are that they know when the time has come, but as one who has witnessed the passing of many – the realization that none here knows the time, nor the hour has become abundantly clear. The moment in time when each of us faces our maker isn’t set by a Doctor’s diagnosis, the rudimentary procedures of medicine, nor the educated guesses of those left behind.
As the treasures of earth part from the holdings, we begin to understand that life has no boundaries, there is no expiration date. Time does not draw nye unto the end of our road, but rather the passing of time becomes that of precious hours presumably living for the moment at which we will understand with great joy our passing into eternity.
Salvation and our walk with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit become the center of our existence and we understand that it’s not the hour, but rather the power that transforms us into His chosen. If we haven’t found His glory, in those final hours our search is bolder, more intense and stronger, but yet… also more sensitive to His voice and His calling. We hear Him, in those final hours – however long they may be.
We learn to love and forgive, understanding that we might not have another single moment in which to care, worry or share our feelings with others. We learn to live the good life, without further concern over the trials and struggles of life that have no longer any hold over us.
It means nothing, to know how much or how little is left of time or money. Only what’s held in our heart matters. The treasures we’ve laid up in heaven will be the only treasures that carry meaning in those last hours – hearts, lives and loved ones. The rest is left untended.
The search is on…
To know what is meant by living the good life. I don’t know how much I’ll be posting here, but it may be a lot of thoughts about the passing of time and the motion required to move from this life into the next. The joy of living the good life… .shared.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation with Oris George, the back roads of yesterday guy who writes about mules and such stuff as comes about on those back roads where real folks rarely wonder. He mentioned something I’d written and said, “It’s really good. You ought to sell that.”
I went off half-cocked and wrote a query letter to a popular editor/publisher and ended up with a contract to… uh… sell that. What I’d actually written was little more than a title and a few paragraphs of plot, which could go many directions, but I chose to send it down the road of mystery/suspense where I rarely ever go. Not that there’s anything wrong with sitting on the edge of your chair turning pages one after another to get to the end of the book and find out if your hero survives, I just never wrote that stuff before.
So, sitting on my desk, in front of my face on any given morning is an acceptance of a story genre I’ve never written before. Thus far, I’ve gotten about 4500 words and it’s due in a few months, along with several other projects, jobs, and items of work type nature… In fact, the book is due on or about the same date as my third grandchild.
But that reference has nothing what-so-ever to do with the book, just a general concept of I’d better hurry, because I don’t want a looming deadline arriving with a baby due any minute. Babies don’t wait, and looming deadlines must be met.
And yet, here I sit stumbling over the words of the suspenseful novel, waiting inspiration beyond – it was a dark and gloomy night. It’s rather over used, droll, and… Sorry Ava, but… Rather Ava Betz-ish. It has been, often, one of her favorite comments when we start writing those suspenseful pieces in writer’s group, because she knows I’m going to dream up a thunderstorm. “The thunder rolls…” is one of my favorite starting lines for just about anything, because once I get the thunder rolling out of my way, I can get down to writing something of value.
It’s my white page, black-out. You know, those words that settle onto the page first, to remove the fear of white page addiction, which has been known to cause writer’s block in the fairest of writers. Once we’re addicted to the white page, we lack the sensibility to add words and get beyond our addiction. It’s a disease that has stumped many writer’s next books and prevented many Wurlitzer Prize winners from accomplishing their goals.
The psychosis of writing is much the same as the psychotic mania that spurs my hero into action in the thriller I’m currently writing. The desire to accomplish that which is irregular or unusual, while making a statement for humanity drives a strong pulse to continue. Where does the need to stop insanity come from in a sane world? Isn’t it normal to have moments of ridiculous tumultuous experience and a sense of crisis in each day of living?
So, what is so different from putting those thoughts and feelings into a book and calling it suspense and mystery? The doom and gloom of daily living is surely enough suspense to carry us through a thriller crime story filled to the brim with mayhem and chaos, right?
And yet… In a very literary sense, the book must go on.
After an intense conversation with my daughter (who has an incredible sense of knowledge about profiling) I found my weakness in writing to be at least half as great as the profile required to create a psychotic killer in my book. With that knowledge and at least five Sydney Sheldon’s sitting on the shelf, I’ve determined that I can do this. I will write this book, fulfill this contract and beat down the demons that keep saying that I can’t write this book. I can, I will and they can’t stop me!
These are a few of my favorite things…
Brown paper packages tied up with string – come to mind when I hear rain drops falling on the roof of my home. Nothing says autumn like the sweet aroma of autumn rain wafting through the windows as a cinnamon candle warms our morning. The maudlin combination of cloudy gray days, rain and baking aromas have long been standard in southeastern Colorado, since the days of pioneers gathering harvests. But with fewer and fewer of us taking time out to bake piles and stacks of yummy goodies in the face of high calorie counts and fat added to our backsides, the aroma of candles is a necessary evil.
I found one several years ago from Prairie Candles that smells just like Gramma’s apple pie baking in the oven. I’ve since added the sweet aroma of sugar cookies, pumpkin pie and any berry you may have found in the forest, my favorite being the mulberry. The point being more than decorator savvy or the gentle glow of candle light, I want the warmth of spicy goodness coming from my oven to encourage my senses. The aroma of spicy yummies was always enough to convince me to hurry through chores for dinner, now I know that delicate aroma isn’t dinner, but it reminds me of “getting things done” in time.
So, while you’re out dancing in the rain today, come up with a list of your favorite things to share over a piece of yummy apple pie aroma candle.
Summers often remind me of childhood. As a parent, I see visions of the future for my children and I wonder if they’ll remember these days as fondly as I remember my childhood.
Times when we talk into the wee hours of the morning, or when we spend hours watching the stars, the moon, or a lightening show move across the sky. Last night was such a night. Life had gotten the better of my son and I. It was time to talk.
We parked on a knoll and watched the storm build under half a moon, far off in the east. Tall thunderheads billowed, lightening flashed, and color split the sky, somewhere the earth got a drenching.
As we talked, I realized that parenting is like that thunder storm. Two sets of emotions collide, they build to a frenzy and erupt into displays of color and light, thunder rolls, and the skies split open to drench the soul with a cleansing shower. Time passes and the storm moves on to come again another day.
Life is what you make it. Without the thunderstorms and rain showers, we’d never know the blessing of transformation. My son grew last night, to understand that no matter how bad life gets, the good parts of life make them worthwhile. He began to know the value of building strong relationships that can weather the storms, and he gave me great pleasure in the form of acceptance. By knowing that life does continue on, the storms pass, and we grow and learn every single day we exist here on earth.