My grandma passed away last Thursday. I had lunch with her in December and while she didn’t remember all the details of my life (thanks to that horribly ugly little disease known as Alzheimers) she did remember me and was happy to see me. She was quite happy that all my boyfriends would let me take time away to visit with her. :) In a little over 2 years I have gone from 3 grandparents to 1. Seeing grandma without grandpa was strange. They were such a part of each other that the halves were no longer whole. She missed him. And now we miss them both. I am leaving my kids and husband tomorrow to fly down to say goodbye.
Funny how death makes us evaluate life.
I grew up going to church. Death was always very abstract and simply a gateway from here to there. My first up close and personal experience with death happened at the age of 16 and was overwhelmingly painful and traumatic. Death walked right up to me and slapped me in the face. I was changed in a very profound way. And yet death was something I felt intimate with—I hated it but am not sure I feared it. As I grow older I have increasingly found it more frightening. I have not lost my faith in the ‘there’s more than this.’ But it doesn’t seem quite so simple anymore. I am not content to just ease through my life marking days off the calendar until I get to cross through those pearly gates. That doesn’t feel right. This life is more than days on a calendar. It is more than smiling and nodding and clocking in and out and in and out. THIS is where we are NOW. And for that reason alone it is more important than anything else. I am not content to wait for the ‘more.’ Today there is nothing more than today. Each minute is the most important one. And how many of those do we spend completely numbing ourselves with technology. As I work to decrease technology in my life I become so intensely aware of the pull. After sitting with my kids for 5 minutes my hands automatically reach for my phone. For what? Email? Facebook? Check the news, the weather? There is no intention behind the action, it simply happens. Then I stare at the screen hitting buttons trying to figure out what I am searching for. And what I am avoiding. The answer is both life and death. For it is easy to ignore death when we ignore life. But that’s not the point. I don’t want to clock in and out anymore! Today is my most important day.