Sometimes I visit our local cemetery. No funeral. No genealogy research. Just for putting things into perspective I suppose. I knew more than a few of those laid to rest here. My grandparents, uncles, a cousin, community members. Many here I’ve researched or placed in my family tree branches- Herron’s, Hobgoods, Ramsey’s, Townsend’s and more. I have even unearthed long forgotten secrets and family dramas written down and tucked away in a crackled file at the genealogical office.
I ate my dinner at the cemetery this evening, my dog beside me waiting for his share between bites. My grandparents final resting place to my left, a peaceful, somber and sad reminder that in the end we will all come to this. I miss them both…maybe even more than the years they died. My grandfather passed away when I was fourteen. His was the first death that taught me the fragility and transience of our earthly lives. His death was the first where I witnessed grown adults sob. It was my earliest memory of my parent’s and grandmother crying. His untimely death was the first I’d heard a grownup wail, cry aloud to God, “why?!”
My grandmother lived on another 19 years after my grandfather passed. For the majority of those years she was independent. Her life was filled with the busyness and joy of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The ache left in my heart due to her passing away was never healed by time. As I grow older and apparently more like her each year, I think of so many things I would have loved to ask. I have an even greater need for her wisdom now that I’ve passed the 50 year mark. So much about her I miss. Her chicken and dumplings, the pies…the loving way she dropped everything to spend time with me. Her family was her world. Most of all, I miss how she always had just the right thing to say to me. She got me…understood my heart in a way only a grandmother can.
I look out across the many headstones and wonder about all those precious lives who left behind someone who’s still missing their smiles, laughter, their own unique spot in the family. Many are buried here and enough time has passed that no one is left to miss them. They’ve become names, dates, simply entries on someone’s Tree or a file on Ancestry.com.
I suppose it’s achieving half century status that really starts one to assessing their time already spent on earth and beginning to think of ways to make the most of what might be left. Proverbial or not, it’s true how time flies.
I can’t help but wonder what will be missed about myself when I die. I’m pretty sure it won’t be my chicken and dumplings, although they’re good enough. Will it be how I made them feel special and cherished like my dearly missed grandmother did me? I hope so. What will be forgotten and what will be remembered? Will I leave a legacy of love behind? Hopefully. Will my cherished loved ones truly know how much I loved them?
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“Yahweh, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4)
So, WordPress gives me a space to write a title for this post but I just can’t think of an appropriate one. I’m pretty sure this post will be one huge ramble anyhow. You know what? I don’t think I’ll even post pics like I usually do.
No worries. No one will read it. And if you, by chance, have found yourself here out of curiosity or insomnia, then I’m apologizing in advance for the disorganized thought stream I’m about to leave here. I just need to dump it so I can sleep.
I’ve had this horrible disappointment in the human race that has been a stinging thorn in my heart lately. People are so physically and emotionally disconnected from one another.
For all the so called “connectiveness” of the internet, social media, and technology, it hasn’t made humans any more adept at peopling. As a matter of fact, I think some are becoming crippled at relating on a real-time face to face manner. Their smart phones have made them extremely lazy and maybe a bit narcissistic.
How many people are actively present in the moments of their lives? Or are they too busy anesthetizing themselves digitally with their smartphones, laptops?
Do people even look each other in the eyes and talk face to face anymore? Maybe I’m imagining this, but I’ve seen a heartbreaking trend. Some would rather have a lengthy conversation through text or social media than pick up the phone or go sit down in the presence of another human and just talk.
I’ve felt the pressure to join in on ridiculous apps like snapchat. Honestly, I absolutely hate it! What’s the point of receiving those disappearing pictures and videos from your friend or loved one? Its so aggravating to get a gorgeous photo or cute video and then “poof” it’s gone. Would someone please explain why this is a good thing? Oh, trust me, I’m sure it comes in handy if you’re a naughty teenager trying to hide something from your parent, if you know what I mean.
While I’m on this rambling rant, let’s talk about good mail. Not bills and advertisements. I sure miss receiving handwritten or typed letters in the mailbox! Don’t you? You know… the kind that requires the sender to pause from their busyness…letters and cards from someone who actually sat down and put a pen in their hand and took time to write, lick that envelope, and mail it to you?
Oh, everyone’s “so busy” now a days…
I disagree. People MAKE TIME for what they want to do. They make time for who they want to spend time with.
I’ve never accepted that lame excuse: “too busy.”
Honestly, if you’re too busy to connect with the ones you’re supposed to care about and those who care for you, then your life is out of balance or your priorities are upside down. (Fussing at myself just as much as anyone on this…)
I see so much self- centeredness and self-worship in the world. It just gets worse every year. The “selfie” era. The “you do you” season. Just look at many young people’s social media accounts…daily pictures of themselves as if they think they’ve done the universe a favor by posting. Brainwashed. So many people think they aren’t truly alive unless the internet world watches them live. Is this why people can’t connect in real life? Maybe they think the internet IS real life.
Making oneself “happy” is apparently considered a noble new aged worthy endeavor. I saw an advertisement on the internet the other day promoting a retreat for young women so that they could connect with “themselves” and revel in learning to love and accept themselves wholly. Pictures of women wading in creeks and rolling around in grassy fields giving birth to their blossoming egos basically.
What we really need is a retreat to train people how to communicate with love and respect and be peacemakers, helpers, listeners, encouragers, etc etc
Have we become, as a society, such “lovers of self” that we have forgotten how to love others? To truly notice the subtle things? People are so busy trying to “be heard” or be “relevant” that they’ve forgotten what really matters…who really matters.
Listen, I know this post is just rambling… but let me just put it a bit more bluntly southern momma style:
It ain’t all about you…or me. At the end of the day, what causes more lasting feelings of happiness and peace is LOOKING OUT FOR THE HAPPINESS AND PEACE OF THOSE AROUND US.
Making others happy? Well, its an age old remedy for getting over oneself pretty quickly.
Notice others….really pay attention. Slow down and be there unhurried when your fellow human speaks. Look them in the eyes. (that means you’re gonna have to look up from your phone) Realize that few minutes of time you took to listen and be there just might be a life-line to someone whose heart is broken or who feels forgotten. Smile warmly and make eye contact with people.(even if you’re wearing a mask) Ask “how are you” and “how was your day” and really wait for their answers. Listen. Listen closely.
Really listen with your whole heart. Try to put yourself in “their shoes” and extend open armed compassion. We all approach life’s journey in different ways. Be wise enough to search out other people’s perspective. Just hearing someone out doesn’t mean you have to believe the way they do. It just means you have enough respect and patience to let them safely communicate their views.
So much soapbox talking going on in the world today and not enough listening.
Lonliness and feeling alone in life is at an all time pandemic level. I believe that many feel very disconnected from others even if they are surrounded by people and activites.
If you’ve read this post this far then you are apparently one of the rare few that still slow down enough to actually read. Be the first one to message me with your address and I’ll send you a gift via snail mail.
II Timothy 3:1-5 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”