Jared and I, relocated for his occupational therapy training in southern California. During his training he was assigned to read a book- A Grace Disguised. This book made him check my seatbelt before driving and hold me with more gratitude. He doesn’t react to much, so I picked it up and read it myself. From it’s pages, I took away one simple concept. When there is death there is new life born- a different life altogether. I had witnessed it literally on the day my grandfather died, my little brother Matthew was born. And now I am experiencing it again.
It has been a fresh two weeks without my mom. While she was in hospice at the cottage in the meadow, I would often say- I can’t wait till things get back to normal. The exhaustion of 21 days of goodbyes- a house full of mourning family holding it together. My four children very much alive and still needing fresh laundry and daily meals. And the pull to be there to the last breath. A marathon of life. One day after another- with all it’s beauty and all it’s mess. When would normal return?
I had learned early on that my definition of normality would have to change drastically. (p 13) Gerald L. Sittser, A Grace Disguised
Now, I realize some of my routine will resume. Daily life. Wake up, coffee, breakfast, dishes, the schooling of my three younger children. My oldest one graduated. Soccer practice. The leaves will change their color. The weather will chill, the cold of night and brisk fall mornings. Then the fullness of Autumn will arrive. Life will keep moving forward. Winter will come. However, the river of my life has altered. My mom is gone. Cancer ran at her like a man of war to cut her down. And he did. Some days it’s blunt like that.
Full circle is the day of her memorial. The earth had traveled 41 years to the day around the sun. She was there with my dad on her honeymoon. September 4th. The same day of her memorial. I chose Timberline lodge at Mt Hood, not understanding. Not understanding the full circle.
Grace in her death, beyond my understanding. Completion in her life here on earth.
But life here is not the end. Reality is more than we think it to be. There is another and greater reality that envelops this earthly one. Earth is not outside heaven, as the philosopher Peter Kreeft wrote; it is heaven’s workshop, heaven’s womb.
Gerald L. Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss
In the mountains we celebrated. Heaven’s work in her complete. Her soul born into eternity. Job describes death as the house of meeting for all living. (Job 30:23b)
She and my dad had tried to run literally around Mount Hood- she was like that running her course with incredible enthusiasm.
I gave a toast during the song Rise Up by Andra Day go ahead and give it a listen.
Run well, and rise up toward the change.