I reflected on this tonight as I talked with my Daddy about two of his close dear friends passing away at the ages of 95 and 91.5. Last Sunday I spent time on my parent's front porch in the mountains watching my father work in the flower beds, listening as he told me about Mr. Johnson and his health woes; how he would not be able to be cared for any longer at home by his bride of 71 years. We did not know during that conversation that Mr. Johnson had just passed away. Then tonight my Daddy calls to tell me that he took Mrs. Johnson to the emergency room last night and sat with her as she had trouble breathing and that she passed away there, at the hospital, just one week after her husband.
I looked up their announcements and sent the links to my dad. What long lives, what service to read about - what they've done, where they've been, who they impacted. And I wonder? What will my children say and think and read about my husband and I? I knew this couple well; still have (thanks to my mom) the adorable plate set they gave to me as an infant because of my birth. Mrs. Johnson attended one of my children's first birthday party not too long ago. But what is their legacy? What is mine? What is yours?
Today, another Sunday, I sat on my friend's porch, not in the mountains this time,
but in their shadow, and I wondered again, is this it? Is this what matters? In the hustle and bustle,
does it come down to this, so simple? Yes, it does. It comes down to the breeze that calms you, the October-blue sky; the children playing football while laughing (with 11 boys around, what would you expect?), the girls holding the kittens and the rabbit, and the baby chasing the little kitty.
The muted sounds of the 2 men who shoulder the responsibility for these clans ambling in conversation down the porch a ways, and the ebb and flow of our own mental wanderings, 2 mamas of many, sometimes barely above a whisper, as we contemplate and share our words gliding and bobbing up, down, around, like a boat gently gliding in the water.
We are sharing in the "good life". It's not so unattainable. Were my lesson plans done? No. Was my house perfect? No. (Still isn't). Is the brochure for my board done? No. Is my Convention of States calling up to date? No. Have I started my Isagenix diet yet? No. Am I caught up on emails? Never. Do I know exactly what tomorrow will bring? How could I? Why should I?
But I do know this. I know Who holds the future, I Know Who holds me in the palm of his hand. Today I was carefree. I am praying earnestly tonight and in these early morning hours for that same spirit that was with me on the porch, to be with me when the children fuss (because they will), when I run out of milk (looking like by lunchtime), and when "the thing" happens that seems to break me, whatever that final straw may be.
Oh, Lord, I pray, instill in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within in me. Cast me not from your presence Lord. Because I want my own to capture the spirit of the legacy I want to hand down. I want my own to read, not just words in an announcement, but "in between the lines" ... Life and how to have it abundantly. I want it not to say, Survivors Include, but rather to say, Those who have been left behind, but who are coming home with their Mama someday.... Because I want to sit on a front porch in heaven in the shadow of the Almighty and watch the children play and know I made the right and best choices. I want to take the spirit from the front porch glider today and apply it to everyday. That's what's truly important.