Since my Mom’s passing a couple months ago I have really wanted to write an update here, but processing everything has made it hard to have the needed time or energy. For those who knew my Mom, she was a lively and busy 70-year old with hobbies, grandchildren, and a new, loving husband of just 3 months. So her sudden death was jolting. I also inherited her massive collection of knicknacks and garage sale “stuff,” both at her new husband’s home, and in a half-dozen antique store booths. While most of it was, and is being donated, trying to sort through and get rid of it quickly has been overwhelming.
Good progress has been made, however, so it’s becoming easier to rest and grieve now. But getting back to life at “Our Little Eden” has been, for me, a little slow. What happened with my Mom’s death is also making me think more deeply about things. Like what kind of legacy do I want to leave others upon my death? And what really makes my heart beat fast, to focus on during this short life? Both Vinny and I are each doing our own soul-searching about these things right now.
Meanwhile when my Mom was still able to talk, and had a sense her time was short, she called together the family to give her last wishes, regrets, and blessings. It was both difficult and precious. Afterward we were able to carry out her wishes for her burial, Celebration of Life, and asset allocation, all in a peaceful way that bonded us all together. I believe she would have been proud.
At that time she also shared some last words of advice. One of them was an encouragement to read the Bible more. Now some of you know there has been a great deal of investment reading the Bible in my lifetime, and verses can’t help but ooze out of my pores. But knowing the scriptures “by heart,” and “knowing God’s heart” are increasingly two different things for me. The fact is, outside of knowing God’s heart, the Bible is easily interpreted and used as a tool or weapon in reaction to one’s personal hurts, fears of intimacy, or other dysfunctional needs – and the results can be destructive. Sadly I’ve done this before, and it hurts when it’s done to you. However, to avoid the Bible for the same reasons that people misinterpret it, is to perpetrate those negative reasons, instead of helping bridge the gap between God and the various imperfect expressions that can help us know Him better – including the Writings. I hope this makes sense. There’s a lot more that can be said about this of course, but sufficient to say that reading more of the Bible can be a very good thing, while seeking a healthy lens to interpret it through.
Also, my Mom shared a positive opinion about my writing, and encouraged me to spend more time in it. This meant a lot to hear her say, because writing is something that I also ache to do more of, and feel very alive doing. But like most of us, I suppose, it’s so easy to put our passions and childlike dreams on hold, and instead spend our spare time and resources doing things that seem to be more important at the moment. But when does this become an issue of avoidance and fear? When do we realize that we are simply continuing to punish ourself, and others; all the while the Spirit is wooing and calling us to take a leap of faith back to Him?
These are some important questions, and ones that are still being answered.
Until next time, THANK YOU again for everyone’s prayers and support these last several weeks. The valley wasn’t so dark because of you!