Life and death

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.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. legacyandlunacy
    Mar 14, 2014 @ 09:13:43

    I wasn’t there when my sister died. Big mistake. I was such a fool. You know what I was doing? Installing servers and providing technology for my school. I had arranged for an out-of-state consultant and was spending thousands of dollars of public funds. I thought that no one could do it but me. I thought that mattered. It didn’t matter. Instead of being with my wife who was holding my sister’s hand in her last moments of life, I was frantically doing what ultimately makes no difference at all.

    But I was there when my father died a few years later. For months I was there and so was your mom. I miss Dad. I was there when my mother, your grandma, died and so was your mom. Your grandma was so good to me and prayed for me all of my life. Those were important days, hours, and minutes. They matter.

    Digital technology is, on the anthropologic time scale, so new that I don’t think we really know what to do with it or what it is doing to us. We are impressed with it, distracted by it, addicted to it, and consumed by it. We talk about 21st Century Learners and the Digital Generation, but don’t give a thought to Digital Survivors. So, on that note, I’m signing off and going down the hall to talk to some kids.

    Reply

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