It’s been a heck of a couple of weeks.
We’ve been gone a lot, for a variety of reasons. Things around the house didn’t get done. Cleaning–that tawdry-toilet syndrome that comes from neglected focus; refrigerator surprise–the green things that were never meant to be green; trash–the stuff that didn’t get taken to the curb that now has scented the garage in an unsavory way.
Our car was looking like we’d gone mudding in it.
No time to wash it ourselves, and frankly no desire to do so, we chose to take it to the carwash. John’s invested in a monthly deal so we can keep our car in better shape than our last one had been.
The carwash experience was enlightening. We’d had gross things on the car, and as the multi-colored soap and funky strips of whatever material bathed and wiped the surface, what the car was supposed to look like was revealed.
It was quick. What would have taken me at least an hour to do was accomplished in under five minutes. Including the wait.
We went in one side dirty and messy. We came out the other side shiny and clean.
I wish my life could look like that.
I’ve lived in–and have raised my kids–in a culture of instant gratification. Where you don’t have to wait for anything for long. Amazon has redefined shopping. Social media has reconstructed connections with people. Snail mail and delivery in six to eight weeks are things of the past. And if something isn’t available immediately, I’ll opt for something else.
Waiting and working through stuff isn’t fun.
Dealing with the loss of my mom is something I’d like to do quickly. I want to do it well, but I don’t want to have to dwell on the pain. One and done.
Grief doesn’t ever work that way.
Loss isn’t something you plan for. Death becomes an uninvited guest for all of us. For some, it’s timely. For others, it’s intrusive.
When Mom died, I had many thoughts about how her life and death affected me. I’d be laughing one minute about some unplanned stunt she’d pulled–like an impromptu trip to the Milwaukee Zoo which ended in a four-hour bottleneck of traffic just to return home–to crying about the loss of her never seeing her great grandsons.
Grief hurts. It’s a reminder that I have no control over this life. That my days are numbered–just like everyone else’s. Death is as much about life as is birth.
There’s a beauty in living in the present with no regrets. Taking time to talk to those I care for. Making time to be present with those who matter to me. Not putting things ahead of people. Allowing time for grief.
Jesus made us to live together. Relationship came first. Stuff and clutter came as a result of our disobedience. We’re intended to value each other because He values us.
Mom’s loss isn’t something that will fade quickly. Learning to embrace loss is as important as learning to value each day.
I can’t wash that hurt out of my heart.
I don’t really want to. It helps me recognize what really matters.
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