If I were to die today… I’m assuming it will be in the evening, I know that this is coming since morning. I wake up and know….
I brush my teeth, shower, and put on jeans and my favorite grey turtleneck sweater. I smell the pleasant aroma of coffee. It doesn’t matter what is on the day’s agenda. I cradle my favorite yellow mug in my hands. I close my eyes and deeply inhale its steaminess. My senses warm and become awake.
Next I go up stairs and get the kids up. I lay on the bottom bunk and begin to softly read. I rub a back. Two other children snuggle within my arms. Warm, still…bodies slowly opening to the day.
The openness of my children…they seem content, brimming with trust. In a little while they will be ready to rock, ready to strike out on the day’s new adventure. Their bodies will soon be bouncing, moving, humming, reaching out to grab each moment fully.
That living fully, in every moment, is so attractive, so alluring to me. I think this is the mindset I continually try to remind myself of. Stop. Breathe. Thank you. Thank you for the sound of giggles as my daughter plays with her dad, for the taste of a tangy, fresh bite of apple, for the morning sun as I drive to work, for a refrigerator full of healthy food…
I think back to the time I spent with my Grandma Isabel in the last few weeks of her life. She became bedridden at the beginning of July. I wasn’t teaching that summer. While looking after ‘Chelle’s two young children, I spent long hours taking care of grandma. (Who would have known that so many churches offered Vacation Bible School for ANY child who showed up??)
She always wanted oatmeal for breakfast. I made it, but often left out the pinch of salt. She always knew. She seemed to savor each bite. Later, she wanted me to read to her. I only read a couple of books. She didn’t want to talk about them, she just wanted me to BE there, with her. My lasting memory of that time is that she understood what was valuable…it was us, the being together, the sharing, the being present and connected.
As evening approaches on my last day, I breathe in, I breathe out. I enjoy the soft cooling breeze of the ceiling fans, I put on my favorite snuggly pajama pants and my husband’s ancient army t-shirt. I call Huey in to the bedroom and she curls up on her wooly dog bed. As I crawl into bed and feel the warm stillness next to me, I crack my neck, left and right, and reach to turn off the light. The dishwasher hums and gurgles. The bedroom door creaks as a cat comes looking for companionship.
If I were to die today…I have lived my day, each hour, each minute, each second, knowing that this is coming since morning. I drift off to sleep….