There has been a plethora of emotions almost every day. And stuff keeps happening so fast I can hardly keep up! In fact, I’m not trying to keep up. Just kinda’ going around in my little world, doing my stuff; laundry, cooking, changing beds, taking care of ladies, talking to my husband and kids, loving on my granddaughter, missing the grandsons, and my absent male Offspringin’s and their wives. Just living!
There is more than enough sadness to go around, to tell you the truth. It almost seems like my Sweet Mama started some sort of maudlin march that has people joining in right and left. Yesterday, another beloved and valuable and wonderful man, Herman Kauffman, folded his tent and went away to take possession of his mansion. That’s all well and good (and GLORIOUS) for him, but what about the people who loved him so intensely that he suddenly left behind? My heart aches for them and for this old world who needs more people like the four that have gone to Heaven in less than four weeks from our community. Alene Yoder. Richard Bender, Eli Bontrager. And now, Herman Kauffman.
But life goes one. Tomorrow, Certain Man and I will mark another anniversary. 42 years ago we married in the same church where some of these funerals have been held. Tonight, I looked up from what I was doing to see Daniel come in with a gorgeous bouquet of yellow roses and baby’s breath and greenery.
“We had yellow carnations at our wedding,” he said. (We did???) “But I couldn’t get yellow carnations, so I decided to take yellow roses.” They were so beautiful it almost took my breath away. And I would have much rather had the yellow roses. We did have roses at the wedding. I had worked for Warren Golde’s wife, Jane Ellan, and they had allowed us to come the morning of the wedding and pick roses from their beautiful rose garden for the bridal party to carry. They were simple as all get out, and unadorned by anything except some narrow ribbon, but they were just fine. We were still very married. I looked at this bouquet today and the man that brought them for me and I gave thanks for the here and now and the living and breathing earthly editions of LIFE that I’ve been allowed to love.
The Bouquet sits on the tablecloth that I bought for my Sweet Mama. She professed to like it when she was talking to me, but when she talked to my siblings, she confessed that she was bothered by the fact that the bugs on it looked so real. I always loved it, and when she went to Heaven, I brought the tablecloth home and put it on my table. It makes me laugh, and it makes me pensive and it makes a wellspring of memories spring up within my heart.
And then, tonight, after a supper of fried squash and chicken casserole that didn’t turn out very well, Youngest Daughter went to pick up a few groceries. She was barely out of the house when she called me, and like her father, implored me to “Go look!!! There is a gorgeous, complete rainbow out here. You’ve gotta’ see it! But you better go quick, or you’ll miss it!”
I took myself out over the slippery side deck where the moss makes navigation treacherous, down the steps, and across the lawn to the edge of the trees. The rain was lightly falling, but there was this ethereal light around me. And then, I saw it! Stretching from one end of the sky to the other. Perfectly complete. This summer rainbow of promise.
I don’t profess to understand all this grief. I know there is a time to be born and a time to die. I know it is appointed unto man once to die. And we all will. But how that will be, or where Heaven is, I don’t know. And sometimes I could “lose my steady” when I ponder and wonder and imagine and think about all the things that I don’t know.
But I do know this:
A God who has always kept His promises is worthy of my trust.
And here, with a grateful heart, once again, I offer up my quit claim.
The Promises are enough. I choose to believe