It’s a beautiful morning in Delaware. I don’t know when I have ever known a nicer July 10th in my whole life. The sun is shining, there is a wonderful breeze and the temps are only in the high 60’s. Nothing but gorgeous! The beauty of this day is a comfort to my aching heart. When I look at this date, I am reminded that 20 years ago today, our family was moving into the big old farmhouse on the little farm we call Shady Acres. So much has happened in those 20 years.
I have so much to do today that I turned off my computer. Then got a phone call, answered it, sat down in my chair, and there was Deborah’s computer, sitting there, alert. I picked it up, finished my phone call, Then turned to my e-mail. I had written to Jon personally yesterday, and he wrote an incredible warm and comforting reply. I read again it for the umpteenth time and I find myself with tears that just won’t stop.
I wish so much we could be on our way to Alabama. My knees continue to be a problem, and have thrown something off in my back. I am getting help — it is getting better, but my doctor advised against going. It seems like there just should have been a way to work it out. I know there will be lots of people there, and that Jon and his family will be held in those loving arms of compassion and caring — and that my paltry presence will scarcely be missed, but I still wanted to be there. I wanted to look in Jon’s face and see for myself that his eyes are clear, that his faith is strong. I want to look at those incredible kids and remind myself that the five of them will weather this somehow. I want to be with a community of grief where I won’t have to explain my copious tears, where I can draw strength from a group of people in a common sorrow — experiences that cannot be replicated when you aren’t there. So I admit that my reasons are somewhat selfish — maybe more than somewhat. Somehow for me, Death makes the most sense when I am in a celebration of life service for someone who has gone straight into the Arms of a Loving God that they have served faithfully and well. The songs, the scriptures, the remembering, the tears all come together to somehow make some sense of the very thing that, by our very creation, we least understand.
And so, what do we do, those of us who are doing ordinary things in our homes when our hearts are THERE? Somehow, I believe that Dawn’s life is honored by ordinary things done well and done for the love of our families and done in the power of an extraordinary God. So I guess it is time to dry these tears, get on with the business of this day. Very ordinary things — Laundry, some ironing, getting ready for a wedding tomorrow, some desperately needed straightening and cleaning and the inevitable bookwork that never stops at this house. I thought that I could stay home all day and just concentrate on things here, but an early morning phone call reminded me of a late afternoon appointment for my Nettie girl’s yearly physical. That gives me a dead line, and will help keep my hands busy, while I listen to the music of Heaven on my CD player and pray for my grieving loved ones.
“Let us pray for eachother,
Not faint by the way,
In this sad world of sorrow and care.
For that home is so bright.
And it’s almost in sight.
And I trust in my heart, you’ll go there.”
My dear, dear Friends — Are you really thinking Heavenly thoughts today?
As I wrote to my Daughters this morning–
“Oh, my precious girlies, in all the things you do, in all the things you see, make sure of Heaven. I don’t mean to cast a pall over the trip, but you cannot ignore the Heavenly while enjoying the earthly. Dawn’s death was so unexpected. I mean, how often does a bolt of lightening come out of a sky where the sun is shining through and KILL somebody??? I’ve had to think so often “What if it had been me?” Or “What if it had been one of my girlies in far away Europe?” How very different the chapter of “Summer of 2009″ would be written. We’ve had some wonderful times this summer, and I hope you are looking at all the pictures. 4th of July picnic, etc. And I’ve hardly felt like I have time to write — always something so pressing. Even this morning, when I should be doing so many other things, but I felt such a need to connect with you, and wanted to just give you part of where my heart is on this glorious but sad morning. Please know that you are always in my heart, always in my thoughts and always in my prayers. I love you both so intensely, and if that had been me instead of Dawn, I want you to know that if I were given any last thoughts, they would be for my precious kids and their incredible Daddy.”
And Now I really do need to do something in this house. I love you, dear Xanga Friends. May this day be a day lived in God’s incredible grace, and may we all make sure of Heaven.