It’s been almost a week since we lost my brother. My Dad woke up somewhere in the middle with the reality that he no longer has a son. And it made my lip quiver, but I sucked it back in. Those words he said to me, they reveal a parents greatest fear.
He told me how he sat with him in the last moments before that body he hugged for almost four decades returned to dust. Hung his head in grief and told decaying flesh he would join him soon. Because eternity stands close by, in the beating hearts of men.
Sometimes you get so close to life you can’t see it. Like the photo on my banner of an empty bottle holding a rose plucked from overgrown summer. It hung there on an ordinary laundry day, catching my eye in filtered afternoon sun on my dining room table. But to you, it’s just a picture.
And just like that rose, today’s beauty wilts away, so new life can takes its place. We’re all ready to shake the hand of new, but maybe we’re too busy to see it standing outside the front door in the rain.
Your life won’t always be this way, He whispers, while I pull glasses from the top shelf. Layer the memories in a box to give away to someone in need.
He’s challenging me to dream. To dream about what my life will look like a year from now. In two years, ten years, even twenty-five like Rip Van Winkle awakening from slumber. Are you dreaming too?
It’s then that I realize I’m stuck on the merry-go-round of routine. Of days ending sprawled out tired and future plans stalled on hold. And those clumps of mundane moments, they join together to create a nest awaiting the promise of new life.
I want to be standing next to the eggs when they hatch, ready to feed hungry mouths. Because eternity stands close by, in the beating hearts of men.
Do you dream about your future in the midst of the everyday? I’d love to hear about it.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
I love how your pain has you clutching so tightly to the arm of God. Praying for you, sister.
It’s the only place I know to go Diane. Thanks for being here with me.
Shelly, this a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing your heart!
Heidi, so glad to connect with you today. Loved your post as well.
I have loved connecting with you through Mary’s team and now through Lisa Jo’s. Have a blessed weekend!
Painfully honest and beautiful. Praying for you!
Thanks for your prayers Barbie, appreciate you friend.
..with you in prayer…..
thank you so much.
Very touching post, thinking about you and holding you in my prayers at this difficult time.
Appreciate your thoughts and prayers, thank you.
My heart grieves for you and your father, Shelly. Death was never meant to be, because indeed God has set eternity in our hearts. No, we were never meant to die. In his deep grief, your father clings to the truth, that he will join his son soon (though sometimes such a loss can seem to last forever). You remind us that this life is but a moment comprised of even briefer moments. You help us to savor the moments, Shelly, by savoring fleetness and flowers and fathers and sons and all that beauty and all those relationships that leave us too soon. And yet, because we hold eternity in our hearts, and because *God* holds us, the heavenly beauty that will follow will be far more exquisite, and the relationships will be completely perfect. Because we hold eternity in our hearts, we have the hope to go on, and the courage to let go what can never last this side of eternity. You and your family remain in my prayers. (I hope I am making sense…..I have just had a dizzying medical test and am lightheaded…….but thanks to your words, I pray that I am deephearted). Love, Lynn
You make perfect sense Lynn, even when you are lightheaded. Beautiful thoughts spilled out here.
You are very kind.
Just weeping here, Shelly. With you, for you, for your Father who burries a child–your words are breathtakingly honest, painful, stirring and beautiful…. oh how He makes everything beautiful in it’s time! Wow! Love you, sister-friend.
Thanks for standing in this with me Kris. Sometimes I think others are standing in my place of grief while I wait for God’s timing. Your compassion touches me.
I want to be standing next to the eggs, too. Love you, friend.
We can all huddle around them and wait. Much love to you too Sandra.
Oh, Father…let me be there when the eggs hatch. but not too close that I miss it. Let me feel Your breath of life. in this world that’s not our home. You’re here, I know it….
So moved by you, Shelly. And praying for you just as fervently.
Amen to your prayer Nikki. It was so fun to see you over at Lisa-Jo’s place today. Congrats!
I am so sorry for your loss and know that these are the times when we lean hardest into God, and pray for His grace and vision to see us through. With you in prayer, for yourself and your family. Your words are life.
Appreciate your prayers Alia. I think, at least for me, these times help me to see life more clearly and inspire me to focus on what really matters. He has this one, like all the rest.
I dream about the future, yes. But still wonder why God brought us back to this familiar farmland, but moved us from my beloved Pawleys. Things still don’t make sense, but it has afforded me the opportunity to work on creative pursuits while I sort things out. I dream of the future, but it’s all still fuzzy to me.
Heather, I can relate to all you’ve said here. Except I live in this beautiful place and wonder why sometimes. I’m thankful for the blogging community and the way it helps me to connect to what matters. It’s all a bit fuzzy to me too.
It’s so hard, isn’t it? Being attentive to the eternal in the midst of the mundane. We so need to keep reminding one another to keep looking. Pay attention. Glad you are writing your way through the grief. Who knows how many you may bless through your words?
My sentiments exactly, Nancy.
I think that is what the sting of death has done for me. Awakened me to what’s important, helped me to see through the fog of life that is sometimes hard to understand. And I hope that writing about my grief will inspire someone, even just one.
My heart was breaking as I imagined your dad in the moment you described…. not wanting to let go. I have heard so many say that ” by design” our children should NOT predecease us. With your wisdom I pray that you can share some powerful words that might offer a moment of comfort to your dad and Carol. You have always been wiser than your years, truly!
I know Paula, I was driving while we talked so I had to swallow the emotion and keep focused. It breaks my heart for him.
His grace is still amazing. His mercy is mind blowing. His salvation is everlasting. His comfort is timely. His love is beyond measure. So thankful this GOD, our God is embracing your family during this difficult time. My heart dipped when I read about your daddy. May God continue to strengthen and comfort you all.
Yes to all of your words here Stefanie. Thankful for you.
I’m so very sorry for your loss. You’re faith is inspiring.
Ro, thanks for visiting, so glad you did.
I love to clip on the poetry of life you write, Shelly.
I specially love these lines:
“And just like that rose, today’s beauty wilts away, so new life can takes its place. We’re all ready to shake the hand of new, but maybe we’re too busy to see it standing outside the front door in the rain.”
It reminds me of how our life is lived with Jesus Christ, He makes all things beautiful. I am happy that I could be a ROSE and even if time would wither me away and be crushed to die, I am alive in Jesus and be with Him in eternity. An lo, He looks at me in the Beauty of His own reflection.
Thank you, Shelly. In time, the hollow inside will be filled with the knowledge that everything happens for a reason and He knows it.
Oh, I love that reflection you just wrote here. It’s so warm and confident. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they always inspire me.
Oh oh – I am stilled and awed and moved by this.
Eternity stands close by, beating in the hearts of men. I am feeling this with you today.
Praying that hope and even joy may chink through the fog of the grief and the mundane. Holding you in prayer.
Much love xxx
It’s always a pleasure to see you in the comments Tanya. Love the way He brought us together. And I’m a bit behind on visiting, will try to get over to your place soon. Thanks for all your love and support.
Praying for you Shelly. Thank you for sharing… I have been trying to Dream again.. We are renting a house and I have always dreamed to own a home. But I started questioning myself if that is a small dream. I have been through so much and I think I want to own a piece of land that I can call my own. Land no one can take from me. But I think my motive is to create my own lil heaven on earth. To hide, to protect myself. All I can create is a storm shelter at best on this earth… I read your posts about the Beauty that surrounds where you live and I cry because it is so ugly here. The land and plants are so dry and dead. Maybe that is a reflection of my heart. I don’t feel my heart is overgrown with flowers and Birds singing… SO I Long to Create it in a home. But Finances after 3 family hospital stays this year has used up all our resources and we continue to live pay check to pay check and I wonder If Beauty will ever surround me or fill my Heart.
I remember how important it was for you to plant flowers in those small beds around that first apartment Laura, and it sounds like that passion still lives strong inside you. I think about the way God fulfilled years of longing in the man you now call your husband and I know He hears your prayer for a place of your own too. It’s in His time, like all things. And that hot dry earth is most certainly not a reflection of your heart, it just makes your longing of what you hope for more evident. YOU are beauty . . to all those who know you. Keep the faith, He is faithful and loves you so much. He hasn’t forgotten what you dream about.
Humbled and awed by your having time to write, to read other blogs, even comment on them. Then again, I am not. When I am processing life, disgesting its events I write constantly. An ongoing script in my head. So I know this is a refuge for you. Praying you and your family.
Life goes on doesn’t it Laura? And yes, connecting with you and those who visit and spilling the thoughts that I don’t even realize I’m thinking onto the page, its good for the soul. Thankful for you, so grateful you are praying.
It’s funny how two people can be thinking the same thoughts…:-)
I had no idea you were going through this. I’ve been so behind in the blogging community lately. Please forgive me! I will pray for you daily, minute by minute. I lost my mom almost a year ago and that pain is still so fresh. I can’t believe you can breathe long enough to write and continue to post. You are so brave. But I know, at least for me, the processing it through words is what gets me by most days. I’m sure it’s the same for you. Please know I am praying and thankful for your beautiful words that continue to touch me even through the pain.
Amber, you are so kind and please don’t worry yourself about missing the posts. We are all so busy, I’m grateful anyone takes the time to read what I write. I’m sorry for the loss of your mother, that is tough. As I shared in an earlier post, my brother and I didn’t actually grow up together so the grief is much different, I’m sure, than what you have experienced with losing your mother. But I do grieve for my father and step mom as they navigate living without his presence. It will be very hard on them. Thankful for your love and prayers, truly.