A mere six months ago, I kissed my sweet husband goodnight, and we snuggled into our big old bed for what would unfortunately be our last night at home together. Looking back, I cannot fathom that it was just another ordinary night. Sure, we knew he had to be at the hospital for his “routine” surgery early the next morning; we had no idea that it would go so wrong. I can still picture him walking into the boys’ room, waking them just a little so he could give them one of his special “full body” hugs and a kiss before we headed out at 5am that morning.
An ordinary night. An ordinary day. You never know what might be your last. I don’t want to bring anyone down, but from my sad experience, take a little bit of advice. Cherish every loved one in your life. Be thankful that they are in it. Live each day, ordinary or not, like it is extraordinary, trying to squeeze all the gusto and fun and laughter you can out of it. I’m reminded of a Don Henley song, I’m not even sure of the title, but in it he says, “There’s just so many summers, and so many springs…”
A soft gentle rain is falling on Wichita Falls as I write this. I’m tired, it’s been a busy day. I am so thankful for my friends….have I told you that lately? One special family, Mike & Pat, graciously offer to take Andrew to basketball practice with their son, Anthony, every Monday and Tuesday night. That is such a gift, especially on Tuesdays, when AJ’s at school until 4, Ben has piano from 5 to 6, AJ leaves for practice at 6:15, returning around 9. Knowing they are taking care of Andrew means the world to me. I went through the drive-thru at McDonald’s twice tonight in 30 minutes–the first time for Andrew, dropping food off for him, then running to pick up Ben, and going back by McD’s for his dinner. By the time we made it home, Andrew was gone already. He came home tired, with a sprained ankle.
Mark’s mom is packing up a lifetime of memories, sorting through a house full of things, as she plans on moving from the big farmhouse she was raised in, the home she raised four children in. I look at all the change I’ve seen and been a part of in the past year, and it’s both humbling and overwhelming. She is looking forward to moving into town, to a retirement village filled with cousins and good friends. It’s bittersweet for me, to see the old farmhouse vacated; she will rent it after it is emptied this summer.
It’s been the constant in my life for almost a quarter of a century. We’ve stayed in it all seasons of the year, I love the way the stairs creak whenever the boys bound down them. I enjoy sitting on her front porch, where I’ve witnessed first hand God’s artistry and majesty in some of the most lovely sunsets imaginable. And unlike here, in the suburbs, the sunset there is unobstructed, as are the sunrises on the opposite side of the house.
Last spring while visiting, Mark came in from outside, after dark, remarking about the stars and the Milky Way. I walked out to the front yard, looked overhead, and saw the most beautiful swirl of millions of stars, the Milky Way in all its glory. The farm is just far enough from town that there’s no ambient light, so you get front row seats to the stars. I’d often wondered why it’s called the Milky Way….now I know. So many stars, they look like milk against a blue-black sky. In that moment, I really felt how small I am in this big creation God’s made.
Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Do Everything” reminds me that no one is insignificant; no act is insignificant. No day is ordinary when we are glorifying God. The lyrics are lovely, the tune catchy. It’s my new favorite running song: