A classmate of mine passed away this week. We’d attended kindergarten together. We were in band together. His family lived across the alley from my grandparents’ home in a small Texas town. I’m sad that he is gone.
I’m sad even though he was pretty cruel to me when we were in junior high and high school. He taunted me more than once. Insinuated some pretty awful stuff about me—none of it true. Made jokes about me even as I sat right there two bleacher seats in front of him at a basketball game. He hurt me emotionally that time. I went home in tears.
Still, he was somebody’s son, somebody’s father, somebody’s sibling. He died too soon, and maybe, given the chance, he might’ve apologized for all he’d said about me. All the times he’d hurt my feelings. I’ll never know. But, I forgive him, and that feels so good.
Sometimes real life intrudes on my blogging world. Studly Doright becomes David and Nana (Leslie) has to speak her mind:
We had dinner a week ago with a lovely couple at David’s office Christmas party. I’d met them briefly before, but at this dinner we were seated next to them. We had a great time getting to know one another. They were both near our age, raising a blended family, some kids grown, others still at home.
David called a few minutes ago to tell me the husband had just died. He couldn’t tell me more at the moment.
So one week ago this man was a vital, living human being with hopes and dreams and a beautiful family. No one could have predicted he’d be gone on this date.
Whatever petty grudges you’re clinging to. Whatever perceived slights. Get past them. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and your pride won’t keep you warm.
Not a one of us is without blame in this life. We’ve wronged others and we’ve been wronged. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” rings a bell.
Pick up that phone. Call your sister. Call your brother, your mother, your dad, your niece or nephew, your child. You don’t even have to say you’re sorry. Just say, “I love you.”
Praying for Eyebrowz Copyright 2015 by Leslie Noyes.
Father, forgive me for my sins.
Father, thank you for these blessings.
Father, let me be my best self today.
Father, please protect the ones i love.
Father, guide us through these times.
Father, my words are inadequate.
Father, my tears will say what i cannot.
Father, I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, your son.
In the last trimesters of my two pregnancies my mind and body went into high states of anticipation. Physically I was full of child, round and healthy, a walking, talking, glowing clichè. Who cared that we were young and totally unprepared? My body was saying, “Let’s do this!”
Mentally I went into the hormone zone. At night I dreamt of having twins or triplets, and literally juggling them (even though I can barely handle more than one bag in real life without dropping it) or forgetting they existed at all until learning they were grown without having ever known me. Gotta love those pregnancy hormones.
Recently I began noticing a parallel between my late term pregnancy time and my current existence. You see every night before I closed my eyes to sleep back then I’d think, “What if this is the night I go into labor?”
Now, as I near sixty, I sometimes wonder at bedtime, “What if this is the night I die?” It’s not as morbid as it sounds. I’m a healthy woman. I sleep well and eat a reasonably nutritious diet. After my bout with early stage breast cancer I am religious about having regular mammograms and other preventative medical exams.
But it’s as if I’ve become pregnant with death.
I’m past those years of thinking I am invincible. I’ve lost friends who seemed full of life and possibility. I was with both of my parents as they died, and I was struck by just how effortless the final step was. They’d both suffered the indignities of long, painful illnesses, but when death finally came for them there was a release and a relief.
So sometimes at night the anticipatory thought comes to me. “What if this is it? What if this is the night I die?”
I say my prayers as always, for forgiveness, for the health and well-being of my family, for an end to wars, for any friends who’ve requested prayers, and I always end with a thank you. Because if I’m to go I want gratitude to be my final thought.
In the end I guess we are all “pregnant with death” and life is too precious to spend even a moment on dramas that separate families and friends. So forgive. And then forgive again.
If I leave tonight
my spirit will stay with you I’ll love you always.