On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend five collective minutes writing on a single prompt. It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week. This blessed, beautiful place where we open our hearts and let words and tears and the inner workings of our lives bleed and flow and dance across the virtual pages. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.
This week: Leave
It is terrible, awful place when you come to the point in your life when you have to seriously consider your parents’ mortality.
It’s not like this is a surprise. Birth. Life. Death. It’s pretty well laid out an understood. But don’t we understand it on a completely different level when the birthing, living, and dying becomes the experience and story of someone we know? Someone who is close to our heart? Someone who is in our heart?
My father is in the hospital. Again. This is not a new thing. And perhaps, not even a surprise. He has been with us here on this earth for eighty years, and against so many odds, has remained with us through several strokes and other major illnesses.
Through it all, he has been a stalwart survivor. Beyond belief. Every time I got a call about another stroke; every time I had to get on a plane to fly home, I thought, “This is it. This is going to be the time I have to say goodbye.”
Three thousand miles away with no highway to get there is a rotten place to be when your family needs you. Just a plane. Which means hedging, and guessing, and planning – when to go, how long to hold off. What time is the right time? Let me tell you – there is no time. Not when your heart just wants to be there right this second for all the seconds that are left.
From a heaven-bound view, I am not worried. My father’s faith is my foundation and I know where he is headed. Part of me cheers because there will be no more pain. No more suffering. Only glory. Only life unending in the presence of the Savior.
But oh my heart – that is only part. As much as I can say, “the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord,” and “I know that my Redeemed lives, and at the end he shall stand on the earth,” and that in those passages lives the promise of redemption, resurrection, and reunion, there is part of me that goes all Dylan Thomas saying, “Do not go gentle into that good night; rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
God help me.
I am not ready to say goodbye to my father.
I am not ready for him to leave.
Here, that promise from Job - an exquisite rendering from Handel's Messiah
How to Join
Want to know about how Five Minute Friday got started, and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!