"The power of stories is that they are telling us that life adds up somehow, that life itself is a like a story." Frederick Buechner
Life is indeed like a story, and I have more to tell.
Last Monday, I captured two births- two amazing, beautiful and holy moments. The baby's first cry takes my breath away every time.
And then there's death. Just yesterday, I knelt by my grandmothers bed, held her swollen hand with the opal ring, and as she slept, her body inching toward eternity, I sang to her, prayed over her, asked her to hug my dad for me, to hold my baby, to say hi to PawPaw, too. Tonight, she's doing just that. She's gathered to her people, knowing Glory, with Jesus, seeing clearly, made whole.
The moment was peaceful and rife with coincidence. I had been reading through the book of Ruth, scratching in my journal about clinging to Jesus like Ruth clung to Naomi. The hospice's nurse's name? Naomi. Her sister's name was Ruth (of course). As Naomi was telling me about my grandmother's waking the night before and how she was getting her to copy sounds, my little sister texted me at that very moment about a dream she had about my Memaw copying sounds and then "she turned into looking so pretty and good in bright teal clothes" and our dad was sitting in the corner watching. It was rife with coincidence or rife with glory and the comfort of the Lord, nudges confirming Presence and great Care and Love.
I, of course, firmly believe the latter.
I'm only a whisper of a life, but even so, this is part of my story: I've witnessed the beauty of life and the heartache of death. But Something heavy and important pervades both experiences. What we do between the two really matters.
"It is hard to have patience with people who say, 'There is no death.' and 'Death doesn't matter.' There is death. And whatever is matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say birth doesn't matter." CS Lewis, A Grief Observed
"The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up." I Samuel 2:6
"The arrival of new life eclipses everything. When all goes well, the room is filled with happiness and all the pain that went before is forgotten. Where there was mystery, there is knowledge. Where there was fear, there is love... The departure of life eclipses everything. When a death is good, the room is filled with peace and all the pain that went before it is forgotten. Where there is mystery, there is knowledge. Where there was fear, there is love." Jennifer Worth
Anita Dent, October 22, 1921- July 15, 2015, how we loved her!