Sometimes you see signs. Life signs. And you try to ignore them. But then they converge and they force you to pay attention. That’s what’s been happening to me lately.
I knew I needed to read Seven Habits again–it kept popping up everywhere in my house uninvited. I knew it was a sign, but I was reading I, Claudius, which was much juicier. But last night, I could not find Claud, and so while I sat at the edge of the tub and watched my two babies splash each other, I started to read 7 Habits.
The author, Covey, invited me to imagine my funeral. Who would be there? What would they say about me? What kind of life would I have lived? And that sent a shudder through my spine, because just one day before, my mother had given me a transcript of my father’s funeral. (That my sweet, busy sister so diligently transcribed).
My dad was a coal miner’s son. My grandfather died of black lung, and my grandmother provided for the family by collecting eggs from thousands of chickens every morning. My dad worked his way through college as a janitor, road construction worker, pizza cook, and waiter. He became a foot doctor and built a practice from scratch in our small town where he served for thrity years. When he died, the line at his viewing went all the way around the church. The wait at one point was two hours. His funeral was packed.
How could a man from a small town have such a funeral? I don’t know if I completely understand. He served in his church. He made home visits to the elderly who couldn’t get to his office. He organized family reunion. What else? I guess it’s about time I started reading his journal because I know I want to have a funeral like that.
I’ve been so obsessed lately with overcoming my ADHD quirks–the things that drive me crazy. I want to be more efficient, but as I read the transcript of my father’s funeral this morning, I realized that life is very simple. Our purpose here is very simple, and I can’t get distracted from that purpose.
And so maybe I don’t need to flip out quite so much when I can’t find my keys, or I forget to pick up some cottage cheese at the store. I’ve been planning on directing my blog more towards organization but I’m glad my mother gave me this transcript because now I know that being organized is not the end. It’s just the means. Still, I’m going to work on it and write on it.
Another sign came today when I took my children on a walk. I walked up some very steep hills to finally find reach a cemetery. It has quite a view. If you look hard enough, you can see our house down in the valley. Do you see my house?
It was so quiet up there. We found a bunny. My children were obsessed with the bunny. And I decided that instead of hurrying home, I would watch my kids watch the bunny. Do you see the bunny?
Deborah slips a little on the snow. But that never stops her.
It was so peaceful there. I thought of how fleeting life is, how it is not my own, and that when I die, I will never have to worry about lost keys again.
But then a cloud started to cover the sun. I had a long walk home, and Deborah kept taking off her hat and gloves. (The stinker). So I prayed, “Please, could we just have the sun back out again until we got home?” The clouds immediately started to shift and the sun made another appearance.
Shadow was always 100 feet ahead of us, but as we walked the sun kept pace with us and kept us warm. But then it ducked into the clouds again. I prayed again, “I know we should be home by now, but I’m slow. I think I’ve been daydreaming. Can I have the sun for just a few minutes more?” I kept walking and it didn’t come out, so I prayed again, and it came out again. And that was my sign. Even though I have a gazillion weaknesses, He still loves me. And he’ll send me some light when I need it.