Circumstances have made me thoughtful lately.
My grandson’s premature birth, my daughter’s wedding and our personal season of unwelcome milestones have reminded me that life is short.
And then a Facebook friend shared this meme:
My heart cried, “Yes!”
It’s so, so true.
What we will value most in our vulnerable moments and in our last moments won’t be anything we bought at a store (or online).
It will be relationships.
The people we love and who love us are the true treasure of a life well-lived.
They are priceless.
Fall doesn’t last long here in Alabama.
We have summer right through September most years and even into October on occasion.
This year was even shorter-hot, hot, hot, hot, cold!
But no matter how long or short the temperate days I have two or three trees I look for when the cold nights work their magic and the leaves turn bright.
I know I have to drink in their beauty as much as possible because it won’t last for more than a week. And that makes it all the more precious to me.
So I don’t rush by as I’m wont to other times of year. I slow down as I round the curve and gasp again at translucent gold lit bright against a pale blue sky.
One, two, three passes and then one day they’re gone.
A windy rain knocked every one to the earth.
All the glory on the ground.
And my heart notes once again that nothing in this life is forever.
Even the most beautiful and highly treasured things will fade and fall.
So don’t rush by.
Slow down and drink in the glory of family around the table, coffee with a friend, walks in your neighborhood, cuddles with the kids, hot chocolate around a campfire or the kitchen stove.
Nothing in this life is forever.
We live in a noisy world.
Music, television, voices and the hum of electricity tunnel into our brains and distract us from hard questions and painful circumstances.
We live in a busy world.
If I’m not in motion, I am getting ready to be.
It is tempting in my grief to try to stuff life full of noise and busyness so I can ignore the pain and emptiness of missing my son.
But there is quiet beauty in the unfilled space of my heart–the spot once brimming with the living essence of the son I love.
In the silence I can hear his voice and see his smile.
So I will guard the noiseless place that still belongs to Dominic and keep it as a treasure, a comfort, and a tribute to him until we are together again.
There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve — even in pain — the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer