Rest in Peace
This past weekend my husband and I visited a local cemetery. I felt a little strange as we drove in the main entrance because we were going to inspect our own tombstones.
While we are not ready to “kick the bucket” yet, we are at an age where we realize that we are not going to live forever. Wanting to make sure our kids are not stuck with decisions and expenses on our demise, we purchased the tombstones this summer. Friday we received notice from the monument company that they had set the tombstones in place so we went to take a look.
Looking at the inscriptions that gave our names and date of birth with a place for the future date of our death led to a little “soul-searching” and reflection on my life.
As I reflected on the past 66 years of my life, I feel like I have been many different people.
- There was the little red-headed girl with banana curls that loved to walk outside after a rain, find a mud puddle and make mud pies.
- There was the shy grade school girl whose parents moved so often, she was always the outsider, always moving on just when she started making friends.
- There was the young girl in junior high who discovered through a speech class that, although she was shy when meeting people one-on-one, she could stand before a crowd and be funny and sing and dance with freedom.
- There was the happy bride excited and looking forward to a long life with her first love.
- There was the scared widow with two little girls wondering how she would go on without her first love.
- There was the woman so grateful to find love again and a wonderful man to cherish both her and her daughters.
- There was the stepmother trying to understand how to raise a teenage boy when her experience as a mother had only been raising girls.
- There was the pastor’s wife trying to juggle family and job while trying to support her husband’s work at church.
- There was the middle-aged woman facing breast cancer and learning to treasure every day of life.
- And now there is the “older” woman who is learning to live with arthritic knees and back, leaking heart valve and decreasing energy. While the body is betraying me, my spirit is still young. Looking in the mirror, I often wonder “Who is that old woman?” It can’t be me!
God has been good to me!
As I look back I realize just how good God has been to me. I am so grateful for every day, week, month, year. I can even thank God for the difficult times. Not that difficult times came, but that in those times He gave me the strength I needed to make it through. I have made mistakes – there are things I wish I could do differently. But all in all, it has been a good ride thus far.
Now I look forward to the years ahead. All those years of responsibility as a mother, grandmother, pastor’s wife, worker are over and I have reached those “golden years.” I find them to truly be golden. Each morning when I wake up, I am free to do whatever I want to do.
- No time clocks to punch.
- No children needing breakfast or help with homework.
- No church meetings to attend.
Having already faced death in the face when I battled breast cancer, I just enjoy each day as it comes, treasuring the memories I am now making with my husband.
Growing up I have treasured different verses from the Bible in different stages of my life. And now as my hair gets thin and gray, my boobs sag (the one I still have) and my energy decreases with every year, I still find verses that encourage and bless me.
Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.
O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.