There are moments in my life when I question the value of my attempts at achievement or accomplishment, although I know in my heart that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I still doubt.
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.
I just opened my eyes. The dark and stormy night had me bewitched into thinking I was sleeping. I realized when I opened my eyes that I’d merely been working horizontal. My body feels like I was lumber-jacking. I may have sounded like it last night too. I don’t know where the truck is that hit me last night, but somebody ought to stop that guy from driving.
It isn’t that I had a bad night, it’s this head cold that showed up about the time I arrived home from the Constitution Meeting last night. Speaking of Constitution, I’m thrilled at the response to the Constitution Meetings that are rising up in our community. I was shocked that there are so few women involved in the meeting. Nita and I decided if they try to take away our right to vote, we’ll stop bringing cookies. That should solve the problem of women’s rights!
I’m listening to the radio this morning, Eric Stone chatters up the War in Iraq, while Ty Harmon chips in with comments on Afghanistan. And the talk turns to a plane crash in Amsterdam.
Foreclosures are down in Colorado, already this year. Glaciers in Antarctica are melting faster than previously thought… Could the Arkansas River rise?
The question of the day.
“Will Jaws be a few feet closer to shore?” Eric Stone is highly concerned about the effect of the rising ocean waters on Southeastern Colorado.
And the pillow won. I gave up my blanket and my nice cozy bed, and I’m in here working while the pillow sleeps to prepare for tonight’s wrestling match.
Obama has promised a land of milk and honey, I don’t think I’m following him through Egypt.
The poles are melting and they expect Denver to be beach front property within two years, perhaps I’ll keep that house instead of selling. It’ll be worth more in two years. The world is a snowball on a down hill run, we’re gathering flakes and speeding up.
(Currently reporting the news as it happened on “Anything Goes” in Lamar, Colorado.)
Pat Palmer invites all to the Pitstop for a Thursday Taco.
Early in those formative years as I started learning about life, I knew I wanted to write. There was only one solution to my desire to write. It had to be the foundational moment of conception. I’d have to write the real content of my heart.
Words appeal to me.
From the beginning the shape of words, the actual writing of the words meant something. I wasn’t sure what, but I spent hours writing words, one at a time until I got them down just right. I knew I needed to put the words on paper in perfect script. There were times I’d write one word for hours, just working the penmanship and writing that one word until it looked perfect between the lines.
Stringing words together.
After one word became perfect, I’d find another and string them together to formulate a thought. On rare occasions when the words became rhymes or poetic, I’d share them. But more often, I’d simply write them in my journal. I’d write one word at a time in perfect script into my journal, acknowledging the whole value of each stroke of my pen. The words adjoined to make a perfect thought, a sentence with value unto themselves.
Poetic license was born.
During a particularly long winter, I began arranging words around formative thoughts that described my favorite time of year. I’d write one word after another until I’d described the picture in my mind. During this time, words developed function and form, beyond the perfect script of the pen. They became poetic pictures of my life.
Plots thicken and jel.
Once I’d begun to write one scene, the rest of the plots began to jel and thicken in my mind. Delightful events escaped my pen, flying across the paper in words mingled with penmanship, guided by the write one, me. The story became real, living and vivid in words kept in check only by the time to place value between sentences and edged into focus, chiseled by the write one.
Characters were born.
Beyond the scenes, deep in the emotional connection of description, characters breathed life into the story. The write one expanded into creation and gleaned introduction to the spirit of inspiration, allowing the characters to flow, exist and live. The write one knew them. They were born of desire and need. Characters developed where none had lived before.
Daunting danger and mystery arose.
Out of the depths, I wrote the write one with daunting danger. Mystery arose and existed in havens of gilded pleasure and escape. Did the story line appear before the character or is the character living the storyline. Only the write one knows. Only, the write one knows…
Okay – so, I know this is literary prose at its very worst, but… The words escaped my finger tips, drilled into the white screen and appeared before me. I could hit delete… But, the words have a life of their own – and the write one knows.
The Write One presents: Jan Verhoeff
So much fun… I thought about the title for a bit and wondered what I could do that would give power to this blog, and still provide me with a place to write information I enjoy writing about. I’m a constant journaler, always adding to the information in my journals and increasing the pages. But I’m also a people watcher, readily watching and writing what I see.
some of my favorite times are spent writing. I write when I’m happy, or sad, or blue, or angry. It helps to write out my feelings and keep them in my journals. It gives me something to look back on to measure how far I’ve come from where I was last year. Occasionally, I look back and read them. But more often I look forward, and write something new.
The Write One – a message of faith.
When you put words on paper, you give credibility to the words. The Write One offers solid faith substance of the words. A love affair with words effectually changes a writer. One writer known to comment frequently on his own love affair with words, suggested, “Words fold together and harmonize with the way we live. They form the foundation of our lives. Certain words effectively change the the world.”
Jan Verhoeff believes in Nothing but the Write One.
When writers try to figure out what to write in their bios, they often stumble around in the dark for a bit. There’s a lot of room in life that doesn’t really fit on that dash between the date of your birth and the date of your death, but how much of it do you really want anyone to know?
My own biography started out simply enough, way back in the beginning, until I realized that I was including too much. So, I edited.
I marked out so much of my life that I felt as if I didn’t really matter too much. The biggest parts that I’d marked out, to begin with, were my educational endeavors. Who cared about my degree in Philosophy? That degree certainly didn’t take me anywhere worth going. I’m sure it influenced my life, but how much can Socrates say about your life in 1978? Ahem. Delete! The next step was to take out my hopes and dreams. They’re important, but not as part of my biography. People want to know what I’ve done, not what I’m gonna do.
The next step was to look at the family portion of my bio. Quite honestly, that which happens through an accident of genetics probably isn’t of monumental importance, and my DNA doesn’t need to be shared with the multitudes. The genealogy that describes whose gone before me, may have been important if it had been someone of valuable importance, or of documented history. But, my ancestors, as special as each of them are, haven’t made any major historical efforts of substance.
My experience of life could be summed up in a trite phrase concluding more than three decades of writing. That ought to impact the neighborhood with a frenzy of activity and celebration… or not! Where I come from is so easy to find, we call it the Heart of America and there’s a little red heart on the map in the middle of the United States, referring to our location at the Crossroads of America. Impressive, only if you’re driving by, and even then, if you blink you miss it.
My accomplishments on the other hand are so great that even I was impressed by their weight, in rheems of paper and ink. At least, until I noticed they don’t measure up much compared to the accomplishments of others. My books have won no Pulitzers, and any awards I’ve earned lack noteworthiness in the big light of life, so I deleted most of those piles of paper too.
What was left?
Jan Verhoeff, a writer from southeastern Colorado, the mother of four wonderful children, who loves to write for others.
Simple, to the point, direct, and not too badly over stated!