If you’ve been reading me for say, oh, five minutes, you know I can pretty much find the positive in anything. Attitude may not be everything, but it goes a long way.
Sometimes life is…weird. There’s this "death" thing following me around. Tomorrow marks the two month anniversary of my father’s death, so maybe I just have a heightened sensitivity to it.
A dear friend’s husband just discovered he had an aggressive form of cancer when they thought he only needed a simple, "routine" emergency appendectomy.
Remember me mentioning our house being painted (#4 on the list)? The owner of the company, Mark, and his crew were with me for the better part of my waking hours for almost two weeks. Mark was one of those colorful sorts, after two days, he got V E R Y comfortable with me and spoke very f r e e l y. "I don’t know why I can’t keep a woman, I KNOW it’s not ME runnin’ them off…" (I offered to coach him in the finer nuances of courting a woman). He was fair and agreeable and eager to please.
They finished on Thursday, the day before Tad and I left for our mini get-away. On Friday as we were pulling out of our neighborhood, my cell phone rang. Tad answered it. It was Mark’s crew supervisor, Jimmy. Mark died the night before. Thursday. I had just spent time with him earlier in the day, and he had commented "I feel like hell" (to which I replied, "You LOOK like hell." I knew he wasn’t feeling great, he had chronic pain and walked with a limp, sometimes more exaggerated than others). I had two phone messages from him I hadn’t yet listened to (until after Jimmy’s call). Surreal. The voice of a dead man.
Saturday while Tad and I were tearing up Atlanta, I received a call from Gina; another friend’s mother (unexpectedly to me) passed away. She found out after Christmas SHE had cancer, it had already progressed and there was no treatment offered.
Several friends in the blogosphere have recently lost parents, grands, in-laws and other close relatives. One of my favorite Christian authors just lost his father and journeled his thoughts in the tender and hope-filled-but-painful moments after.
Nibbles died Sunday night.
Do you remember me telling you about being discombobulated from our bathroom renovation? Have you noticed I haven’t posted any stinkin’ pictures??? That’s because it’s not yet finished. For a while, we were using the shower, but recently discovered a water leak. We’re waiting on Kevin, a one-man operation, to come back to fix it. He’s a good guy, but because he’s on his own, we have to wait. He was supposed to call by the end of last week. Because he didn’t, I called him Monday afternoon. He sounded……odd.
"Kevin, are you okay?" I asked as soon as he said "Hello".
"My dad just died…"
"WHAT?????!" I accidentally screeched.
"My dad just died…I’m still at the hospital…less than an hour ago", I was able to make out between his tears.
WHAT–You’ve got to be kidding! I’m thinking, but I say "What can I do for you, how can I help, do you need me to call someone?" I was dumbfounded. I have no idea why he answered the phone, but I’m certain he knew WHY I was calling. I quickly got off the phone after promising to pray for his family.
I’m not paranoid, and thankfully I don’t live in fear of this kind of thing. But I can’t help but notice. I actually find a convoluted kind of humor in the "seriousness" of life; I dunno, I think having lost both parents now "entitles" me to respond however I want…I can be extremely irreverent, but I don’t think it’s disrespectful, I certainly don’t mean it that way. Perhaps one of my greatest strengths–and I contend it’s a strength and not weakness or repression or self-delusion or simply a coping mechanism–is finding levity in life.
So, I hug my babies a bit tighter, kiss ’em again after they’re asleep…and thank God for how amazingly blessed we are. Because WE ARE!
HT to darkmatter for the amazing picture here.
I just wanted to give you some cyber-hugs for the rough road you’ve been traveling lately! When my MIL passed in January, she was the 3rd of “family” passings we’d dealt with in 3 months. I feel your pain yet I’m thankful that the suffering is over for those I’ve loved deeply. May God give you peace beyond understanding and may you know that you are being prayed for.
What a sad time for you Robin. I guess we have to enjoy each day as in comes and live life to the full because who knows where our paths may take us.
Suz…Beccy…I’M OKAY! Really, truly, I’m f.i.n.e., just kind of … I dunno … “aware” of the brevity of life. I’m not governed by sadness, I see HOPE and LIGHT and TRUTH and PEACE and BEAUTY! Life is L.I.F.E–sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes ugly, but I LOVE IT! I’ll take it all and I truly believe everything can be used for my good (and God is using all things to teach me about Him…somehow, some way).
Thank you for your sweet sentiments, but please, don’t hear SADNESS. Sure, there’s a time for that, but that wasn’t my point here….
Carpe friggin’ Diem…maybe THAT’S my point! 🙂
one of the things about growing older is that is so difficult is being aware of mortality.
There is a strength in you that draws me (and others) to you. Of course, ultimately, it’s the Lord – and I can see/know that – but….I don’t know….I just know that I like you ! A lot ! One post had me cracking up ( big time ) and the other had me in tears. God has you right where He wants you, girl !
You rock, in my book.
And sometimes the only thing a friend can do is offer a hug…(((hugs)))
Girl I know about the raining, pouring thing..=(
Pamela, that’s probably part of it.
Kristy, it’s official, you have now have the distinction of my “newbestfriend”…there are many “out there” (you’re in fantasmio company) :).
Wow! That’s a lot of death. It sounds like the year my dad died. Two weeks later, my uncled died. Two months later, my grandma died. I got scared of answering the phone.
I just clicked back and read the post about your dad dying (I wasn’t reading your blog back then) and I just had to say – I know exactly what you mean about calling death what it is. My husband used to get annoyed at me for being so direct, after my dad died, but I just couldn’t bear talking about him “passing away”. Nope – the pain felt like death and that’s what I was going to call it.
I don’t know about getting older and understanding mortality better….when there are a lot of deaths around you it’s hard not to notice. I think it comes in waves. IN 1994 there were about 8 people who died in my family (grandmother and aunt included). It comes in waves…
right now – the wave is “breakage with expensive fixes” (dog leg, van, taxes)
Gosh Robin, I’d like to comment on all of your recent posts, (your daughter is a doll and is definitely cute like you)but this one is a MUST! What can I say?
I guess I’ll do the “girl thang” and say “I understand.” I know how you feel. I really do. My Mom died ages ago, and my Dad is in the process of grieving the loss of his 2nd wife (now settled in a long-term care facility) and we’re moving him to a retirement community next weekend. Tonight he mentioned that the wife of one of his dearest golf buddies finally succumbed to cancer last night. This week my SIL has been in the hospital with complications to Krohn’s disease (no cure) and my bro has diabetes. And I’ve been adjusting to a quiet house, and an empty nest for the past two weeks. Seems like people are droppin’ like flies all around us doesn’t it?
So now that you’re an “orphan” (Wow, 2 months) you’re doing the best thing you can… pressing on with your own great parenting. Makes me appreciate the younger generation and cycle of life (even though, from God’s point of view, death is unnatural.) HUGE warm cyber- hugs to YOU tonight.
(BTW, I enjoy your clear, fresh voice and your “straight” writing style too. But memes are OK with me. :~))
I think Karmyn is right, it comes in waves. carpe friggin diem is right!
It IS a strength to find the positive and humorous sides of things in life.
And, oh my goodness, the uncanny coincidences of death you’ve been experiencing… I would certainly be weirded out by it even though, like you, I’m a pretty positive person. (alliterations aside)