The Passing of Life
Today I am thinking about the passing of life–both the passing of time while we are here and the passing from this life to the next.
How bitter and painful both can be for many, yet how sweet and joyous all the same.
I watched Endgame this evening, and I cried with a room full of strangers.
Isn’t that beautiful? We sat in the dark next to our friends or families but also with people we have never seen before and may never see again, and we felt it ALL together. We wept, some of us loudly and openly, and some stifled back the tears with tight throats and hot eyelids… and some *cough *cough my husband *cough *cough laughed at the absurdity of the rest of us joined in grief at the loss of a fictional life.
But I loved the weird unity of it. We were lost in the story of a fight to save humanity, and we shared our humanity as we wept together in the dark.
I don’t know how it came up, but we told our kids stories from their births on the way to dinner. Maybe we felt life bursting in the rawness of our emotions after laughing, crying, and cheering for flawed heroes. Or maybe we were just thinking about how we used to eat at Red Robin a lot more when we first started our family.
We told about how the night Ella was born we had met Jon’s parents for a relaxed dinner at Red Robin in order to send Kaleb, who was days from turning two, home with them. We reminisced about Jon watching football at home and taking a long walk with me at half time. We took a loop that required us to hop a fence to be almost home or go back the two miles we had already come. With some help, I hopped the fence…. the day I delivered Ella. Her birth was calm and easy. But we also told about when Kaleb was taken to the NICU shortly after he was born and the fear and uncertainty we felt as we were forced to wait in the hallway while the nurses switched shifts before we could go in to see him. We laughed at how many times we have already told the kids Annalyn’s birth story because her story captures her stubborn will to do things her own way.
I was so young in these stories. How distant and sweet those crazy, fun, heart pounding, and heart filling moments seem.
When we returned home this evening, I read the news that a christian, female author, far more successful than me, who was born the same year as I was just died from what started as the flu.
No rhyme. No reason.
And this caused me to pause. The need to process the passing of life couldn’t be held back any longer. The need to think and feel it all pushed me to the keyboard, where my inner world finds its way out.
I think of the mess of my home I am constantly trying to overcome- the mountains of laundry, the random junk left on the dining room table by my children (placed there to drive me momentarily insane), the soap scum on my pretty glass shower walls, and the cat litter that escapes the box on the daily. I think of how much of my life is spent worrying about these things. I think of the stress of my work environment and the dreams I keep setting on the shelf for another day because I have my whole life ahead of me, and I do. I have my whole life ahead of me.
I smile as I write this and Annalyn skates back and forth on the back deck… because she is a skater girl now. It’s all a jumble of feels–heart bursting, heart rending, heart racing, feels.
I am just taking it in and feeling all the feels.
I am desperate to embrace the moment and live in the now, but I am also aware that life is so big and potentially so long… and maybe I don’t need to sweat the little stuff and could give even more grace… to me and to others because whether my life is much longer or suddenly over, no one will care if I weighed ten extra pounds, what my career was, or if the counters were clean and the cabinets organized. No. They will care only that I loved them.
And yet, I love them so much better when I feel the calm and peace of a world with everything in place. And that is the lie I believe- that I can put life into order… that I have control… that there is rhyme and reason.
And so I pray that God will help me to pass this life well.