Monday, October 31, 2011

Living in the Moment

One of the choices for the name of this blog was today's title.  Losing Austin so suddenly, so unexpectedly, and what seemed "before his time" was a shocking reality of how short life really is.  None of us ever know what could be our last day, our last moments with the ones we love.  My drive, and what inspired this blog, was to live each day to the fullest, to live in the moment, and to find the joy in every day. 

The weekend was filled with reminders of this reality.  Friday we awoke to the news of two men trapped by a landslide at our local mine.  There was a pause in the air wherever we went, as the county held their collective breaths awaiting word.  Shortly after noon, what we feared was true, as we learned both men lost their lives.  While I know all miners know they face danger each day, I doubt either man imagined that it would be their last day when they said goodbye to their families Friday morning.  My prayers have been those affected, as well as to the rescue crew who responded.

Saturday, we attended a local event, "Judgement House" at a nearby church.  It was a live, walk-through drama showing the consequences from choices we make.  I was hesitant in going, as I'm protective of my family and never want to put them in an uncomfortable position where feelings and reminders of losing Austin may be too difficult.  When we walked into the car wreck scene, I was not prepared.  It was shocking, and although we didn't lose Austin in that way, seeing traumatic death reenacted was difficult.  The next scene, at the graveside, was not any easier.  In fact, there was a point I nearly walked away.  I prayed that Noah wouldn't be hurt by seeing someone crying over their sister's grave.  The only comfort of the night was the final stop, Heaven. 

Seeing a glimpse of where my precious boy lives now was worth the difficult parts of the play.  There was such joy and warmth in that room.  I cannot explain the peace and love that was felt, especially when being hugged by Jesus.  One of Austin's and our favorite songs, "I can only imagine" played in the background and how true that is.  While we don't know exactly how Heaven will be, I can only imagine the beauty and peace that he is surrounded by.  The pain I experience in this life is worth the end reward.  Just knowing that someday we'll be reconnected get me through the hardest days, and I can only imagine how wide his arms will be open, ready to hug me and show me around. 

And then Sunday, our family day, was shadowed with the sad news of my step-grandfather.  He went from thinking he had food poisoning on Friday to being unresponsive in ICU.  News last evening sent everyone leaving in a rush, as we discovered he had suffered two strokes, with another blockage that is not operable.  The prognosis is about the worst it can be with a stroke and we're left to pray for either full healing or peace.  When I think of Dallas, I see his sweet, smiling face.  I hear his happy voice, calling me "Sis" as he reaches for a hug.  I see him working on the farm, always active and busy.  My wish for him, and our family, is that his suffering is not lengthy and that he can be remembered in that way.

Not quite the happy, festive weekend that I'd envisioned, but throughout there were joyful moments.  The common thread was family, which always brings me happiness.  From seeing my big guy enjoying his last fall festival and reminiscing through the years, to an impromptu theatre treat and popcorn for dinner when hayride plans were spoiled, to snuggles and spooky movies, steamy bowls of hot soup, and sharing sweets with my favorite littles, we made the most of the moments. 

The weekend made us refocus, reminded us of what's most important in this life, and what to hope for in the end.  Prayers were longer and more thoughtful, and reflections of gratitude more thankful, but perhaps we all need that now and again. 

Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today.  - Dale Carnegie


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