I’ve been wanting to write again for some time but couldn’t find the energy to get started. It’s not that I couldn’t find the motivation, mind you. Every day, countless things come into my life to inspire, challenge, and humor me. I figured they might have a similar impact on you, too, my faithful readers.
So I went with the old tried and true Daily Post and its writing prompt. Tonight it is the simple word “riff”. Here goes…
First I want to ask your prayers for someone who is dying. It could be anyone. In my mind he is a very real young man with a family and he will open his eyes into eternal life very soon. I’ve been thinking of my own mortality lately. I’ve always been rather fatalistic. Starting in childhood with the death of my twin sister at the age of 4. In the past two years I’ve lost my oldest brother and my father. I think about these pages and the banal things I’ve committed to cyber paper and I hope that my beloved son and daughter will be able to patch together a glimpse of their old man when I’m gone. My wife already knows me well so I hope she’ll be able to smile when she reads my posts again and remembers the craziness that was our life together. I love them so much and I’m glad God gave me a brief moment in this life to spend with them. Pray.
Second I wanted to give thanks. Every day there are numerous things for which we can thank God if we only look around us. Last Thursday night my 13 year-old Honda died in the parking lot of a Walmart while I tried to start it after a brief shopping excursion. I could have cursed life for the horror of being stranded in a Walmart parking lot. Instead here’s what happened. I called a friend of mine. “Hey, my car died…” I said before being cut off. “Where you at? I’ll be right there,” he said with enthusiasm. THAT’s a friend. He gave up his evening to come pick me up, drive my wife to a meeting, take me and my kids to his house so he and I could work out together (motivating me to push harder in the process), lent me his clothes after I used his shower, and drove us home. I may have looked silly in his duds but I was clean and dry and happy. Two days later my mother-in-law’s neighbor – who’s legal name is actually Bubba – gleefully accompanied me to the parking lot, changed out the battery with me and then drove with me to an auto parts store to buy a new starter. Imagine. The battery and the starter both died together. How serene. If only it wasn’t in a Walmart parking lot. The first friend’s wife (he was already out of town celebrating his brother’s 40th birthday) came with me to wait for the tow truck. She has AAA and I don’t. I told you. I have a Honda. The tow operator didn’t have a clue what he was doing. He was in training so it took a painfully long time. Within an hour of getting towed back to my mother-in-law’s house, Bubba called me to tell me he had worked on it, changed the starter, and it was fixed. Wow.
Finally, I want to celebrate life. I’m turning 40 myself pretty soon. As my brother-in-law, a trauma nurse, once told me “Today’s a good day. I got out of bed unassisted, didn’t need any help getting dressed. I ate breakfast not through a tube…” You get the point. I haven’t even reached the age my dad was when I was born yet I feel like I’m getting old. My best friend just turned 40 last week. He’s an amazing guy. I always tease him by asking him to give me the “22 day rundown of what it’s like being a year older”. Truth is he could run circles around me in every way. But I want to mark this milestone as another year God has given me to serve him, another year with my wife and kids, another year to write. I think 40 will be fun. Even if it’s not; it’s just a number. I’m still going to live regardless of what my birth certificate says. How’s that for irony. One of these days I’ll be able to do something spectacular like travel the world or have someone throw me a huge party like all my friends have done. I should mention here that another good friend did throw me a party recently. True, he knows I abhor surprise parties. I just can’t get past the deception that goes into planning them. A lie’s a lie even if it’s for a good cause. And I often think that someone would only do something nice like that for me out of pity but I’m still glad he did and I enjoyed myself. Even if I did enjoy the steak he cooked a “second time”… But even without those things life is beautiful because it simply is and it deserves to be celebrated. And that man who’s dying? His life is beautiful at this very moment because he is one step closer to God.
I suppose I went on a bit of a riff there… Oh well.