So I woke up this morning, the day after my siblings and I buried my Mom, feeling odd. Found myself asking, “What do I do now?”
We’ve been laboring along with Mom for many years, seen her decline with dementia, moved her from the only home we have ever known growing up, to navigating through a Godforsaken pandemic that seems to be taking a lot from everybody.
And now that we have given our sacrifice to the gods of who knows what, what do we do now?
So as life would hold, this morning I ran into a church member at the grocery store who extended his heartfelt condolences for Mom’s loss. I guess I needed to hear that. However, over the past few days tons of sympathy cards have rolled into the house. More than what usually comes at Christmas time. They are a reminder that I am not alone. As a part of our conversation, this member shared about losing his Mom when he was 15 and his Dad in his 50’s. But that we never forget about those people in our lives. But their deaths don’t keep us from living a good life that is before us.
So what’s next? Get on with living.
So I bought some flowers for Rebecca (Sunflowers, on sale, for $1.99 a bouquet. She actually got two bouquets!). We also have enjoyed eating our lunch today on our fine Lenox with a glass of wine. Which goes to say: don’t wait, just live, and live life to its fullest.
My Mom gave her three children a great life of strength, adventure, and willingness to allow us to discover our own paths. If I can extend a fraction of that to my kids, well then, I will have done well by Mom.
The loss of a loved one at whatever time in our lives, causes us to reflect on the living and dying in many different ways. Words help to release what gets stuck down inside and need releasing. For others, a long walk or some physical exertion. And thank God for friends and those people who are connected to us who are there to listen, to make the heartfelt expressions of compassion, and for those who just stand back and allow us to bawl our eyes out.
I’m am very fortunate to have Rebecca along my side and our three children we are guiding to become who they are becoming.
We all have different ways we will move into our tomorrows, but we are not alone. In this case, I’m one of Shirley’s kids. She’d be proud. I’m glad she got to my Mom.
I am also called to be your pastor. This year has been a year of loss in many ways. And so, when we begin to add the typical things into life that would have occurred at some point in time, along with the chaos of protecting each other from this virus, it’s so easy to not feel alone. There is a lesson in here for us and I hope we can figure it out. But I do know for certain, that among this cross we bare at this time, we also know a resurrection that follows. I believe this. That after we figure out how to do life again, when we gather for worship and when we sit to watch movies, concerts, and dine at the finest of tables, we will have come to that place that reminds us to live life and to live life to its fullest.
Don’t wait for it. Do so now. Take out the fine tableware, open a favorite beverage, turn on a song and be embraced by the melodies we make with each other.
My love and my prayers to you.