Life and death

Years ago I was distressed by  a family’s loss. In an auto accident one young daughter was killed. I felt that her life had been cut short. A minister friend had a different perspective. He felt that each of us has a life span that is ours alone….just as we are all individuals.

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I was reading a novel today and came across a similar thought that was attributed to the Gullah people of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. The book is “Gullah Secrets” by Susan Gabriel. Living near and having cared for Gullah people I have always respected their wisdom.

An elderly Gullah woman says: “Like a story, every life on earth has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes a story lasts only hours. Sometimes days, years, or decades……It is not about the lucky or the unlucky. The good or the evil…..Life and death are in an eternal dance just like that whirlwind. Wind and sand. Sand and wind. A dance across time.”

This vision of each of our lives is comforting to me. My birth and death are mine and are as unique as I am. Life and death. They both continue.

 

 

There is more to learn

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Yesterday we had a high in the 80’s. Last night it went down to 45. For us that is winter. Where is fall? I actually enjoy the cooler weather and look forward to having a fire in the fireplace.

One of the most difficult things about growing older is when you begin losing friends and contemporaries. Going to funerals is not much fun. The only blessing is that most of them have lived good, fruitful lives. You can be grateful for the time you have known them and the joy they have brought to life.

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I don’t mean to sound depressing. Most of the time growing older feels to be just another phase of life. It has some incredible joys and blessings. I have experienced so much and learned so much and writing has allowed me to continue to share. I try to appreciate each day. One of the hardest things is to learn to live fully each and every day. Time is not to be wasted but experienced. If only we could learn to let go of living in the past or the future and just be where we are at the moment.

Accepted but not fixed

Last evening I had some sad news. A friend’s son-in-law is dying from cancer leaving a wife and two preteen children. I am so sorry about this. I watched my friend’s daughter grow up, get married, and have children. Now they have been fighting this disease for several years and he is on Hospice.

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I hate so much for that family to lose a father and husband. Life will never be the same. There are some things that change us utterly and immediately. Some things are slow in coming and give us time to grasp them. Death, no matter how we see it coming, is still not prepared for. Life moves into a totally different reality.

I pray for that family and will offer any help. Nothing, however, can fix it. There are things that can be accepted but not fixed

Memories–always there

Memories

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Memories
Things remembered
Never lost

Childhood
Days seemed forever
Time moved slowly

Teens
Endless life
Untouchable, invulnerable

Marriage
Love, passion, caring
Too quickly passing

Children
Growing, changing, becoming
Then suddenly….gone

Now marriage
Secure, comfortable
Loving, aging

Growing older
Vulnerable health
Fast passing

Memories
Always present
Always, always

Sunflowers seek light. Do we?

The other day I read…I don’t remember where…that sunflowers, if they can’t turn to the sun, will turn to each other. There is a real story in that. It seems that is something we do as humans. If we can’t turn to our important source of light (people) we turn somewhere else to seek comfort. We have to lean somewhere.

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Applying that thought is up to us. It can be applied to God or another source of strength. Maybe we turn inward and if we don’t find what we seek there we may be lost. We each need somewhere to find solace and will seek it out. We are like the sunflowers.

New companion

My son and daughter-in-law just got a new puppy. They lost their other dog last year. Over the years Karen (DIL) has become more and more allergic to any animals and they knew any dog would have to be a hypoallergenic as possible. They have been looking for a Labradoodle that they could afford. The prices for these dogs who are certified least allergic is quite high so they have been waiting.

A few weeks ago Karen’s sister found out that a friend of hers who raises these dogs was having to have back surgery and was unable to keep the dogs she has now. They were able to get this puppy for a very reasonable price. They are so excited. My grandchildren are grown and gone from the house so they really wanted to dog to be part of the family.

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Today they brought him by to see us. He is an adorable puppy with a sweet disposition. He will be a wonderful addition to their home.

Dogs provide so much love and comfort to us humans. I love coming home to be greeted by wagging tails and happy dogs. Who else is that happy to see us?

You raise me up!

I have always loved this song. It is such a powerful message. I don’t know how you see the meaning…whether it is God you see or someone dear to you. Either way it speaks clearly of being affirmed and loved. I can see my God and my family/friends in it. I have been held up so many times in my life. In any crisis or when I don’t trust myself someone has been there to encourage and lift me up.

It must be so difficult to live without this kind of assurance. I know that I am blessed to have it. Some don’t have family they can count on or the sort of friends who stick through anything.

It has been said that to have this support from others we have to be there when they need support and I have found that to be true for me. Being there through thick and thin is what it is about for me.

I was also blessed to grow up in a family who had God as a core belief. They were not concerned about denomination or intricate doctrine. Just the underlying support of a loving God.

 

Singing “in the rain?”

 

I grew up with this movie. In 1952 I was twelve years old. It became one of my favorite all time movies. This is dancing and singing in the rain. An easy thing to do when things are going well. Not so easy with life is not so good.

One thing I have found over the years. Singing helps me. It is hard for me to sing and feel bad. Especially if I sing something cheerful. Now, I don’t claim to be a great singer but I do enjoy it. It can often chase away the gloomies and set me on a better path. I will just put on some music that allows me to see with it and let loose. In the early 1960’s it was the era of the folk singers. I love The Kingston Trio, The Limelighters, Mamas and Pappas and many more. To sing with them perks me up. (Some you may not have heard of)

Finding something that perks you up is wonderful. It is easy to let the gloomies get you down. If we sink down it grabs onto us and we sink into the mire of depression. It is good to feel that coming and do something to stop the slide.

Find your own thing that will lift you up and use it!

Mastering Silence

There is so much noise in our daily lives that silence is almost unknown. When I worked for the church I would occasionally ask people to sit in silence for one minute. I actually timed it and after 30 seconds the fidgeting would begin.

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There is not only no silence on the outside but there is little silence on the inside. Most of us have not learned how to shut off the voice in our heads. Since we have been so little exposed to quieting that voice it requires time and effort to learn how to do it. We decide that we want to try meditation and we can’t seem to settle and so we quit. It really is difficult to meditate in the beginning on your own. It is so much easier if there is a voice directing you. There are many Amazon Alexa apps that will take you through a meditation but even those aren’t always enough.

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The best meditation I ever did was in a group with someone walking you quietly through the process. A really good leader can help you explore more depths that almost any other way. I have not found many meditation experiences except in yoga classes and most of them don’t meditate long enough for you to get into the place where you can let everything go.

I am hoping to start a group but I don’t know if I will have any takers. It remains to be seen.