Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, January 19, 2015

Back



Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. -- Revelation 1:19


That’s the thing:  there is always an “after this”.  It doesn’t matter if it is war or a terrorist attack, a storm, a financial crisis, disease or the death of a loved one.  Tomorrow, you have to get up and make coffee, check the to-do list and pay your taxes.  The extraordinary, even the devastating, sooner or later gets swallowed up in the routine.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not forever changed; I am. 

I sat down with the young man who spoke at Vickie’s funeral, and, as we talked, I realized that there were many things I had seen.  Those things that are now tend to obscure the past.  Present pain may cause us to think less of past joy just as present joy may transform past pain to something more akin to poignancy or perhaps even wistfulness.  Yet the things I have seen assure me, reassure me that the present with its pain will have meaning just as the past has gained meaning.  This, too, will be transformed and become something I have seen.  That we have seen.  I am not alone.  She was Mom, Grandma, Aunt Vickie, a sister, a friend, neighbor, confidante, and prayer partner. 

Facing the undeniable claims of death, it seems as though it ought to be the end of the world.  So far there have been things to attend to, and that will go on.  Minor details have to be addressed.  Numerous small, mostly inconsequential tasks have to be completed.  After that, barring an accident or something, I’ll still be here.  So, I have to consider those things that are to take place after this.  The struggle over the next few months will be to orient my life away from what is right now and toward what is coming.  It is dangerous to get stuck in time. 

If you had been able to ask my wife my greatest flaw, she would probably have said that I am lazy and a procrastinator.  Which is true.  But the underlying flaw is deeper.  I like things the way they are.  I would always have been more than willing to stay where I was, to drive the same car, to work the same job, and so on.  If it hadn’t been for her, I would probably still be living in the same furniture-less two-bedroom apartment and driving the same little truck.  It’s not that I’m not adaptable.  I am, perhaps, too adaptable.  I can put up with anything.  Vickie was always instigating radical changes and putting me in difficult positions so that I had no choice except to change myself, to learn and to grow.  It kind of makes me wonder if she hasn’t done it again.

11 comments:

julie said...

Yet the things I have seen assure me, reassure me that the present with its pain will have meaning just as the past has gained meaning.

Beautifully said, Mushroom. It's good to see your words again.

John Lien said...

Well said, Mush. Glad to see you posting again.

(Heck, I should have just copied julie's comment. I even like the quote she copied.)

don johnson said...

Ah, Mush. I'm speechless again. Welcome back.

mushroom said...

Thank you all.

Leslie Godwin said...

Thank you for your post. It is beautiful and insightful. And praise God for your opening word, "Back."

Mrs. G

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

It's good to see you again, Dwaine.
I tend to procrastinate myself. I have found some positive things about procrastinating, depending on what's being procrastinated, of course.

For instance, I kept folding dish towels after Patti passed, but lately I no longer do so. I just stuff them into the drawer. I do still wash them but I save time not folding them anymore.

Thank you for the wise words and for sharing. I hope and pray your daughter is doing better.

Paul Griffin said...

I think most men would agree that they needed their wives to inspire/kick their butts out of that willingness to "adapt to anything." There is a reason that the muses were all female, as women constantly see far beyond our own short horizons.

Very good to hear from you, Mushroom, and thank you for the beautiful words. You have come to mind frequently, and we will continue to pray for you.

mushroom said...

I just stuff them into the drawer. I do still wash them but I save time not folding them anymore.

Men are more efficient.

Rick said...

Well said, Mush. Beautiful post.

mushroom said...

I just would not have made it without all of you. And I do appreciate the continued prayers for Nicole. She's doing well, but it's a long, hard row to hoe.

Joan of Argghh! said...

It's good to walk with you, as much as you will allow us to be here.

Prayers continue, of course.