Hi Dad, Me again

I spent some time with my dad tonight. I deeply felt his presence, or more than likely it was my Father’s presence. Whatever, we were all there together. The night was chilly, and as my aching knees fell on the cold wet grass, I couldn’t deny the comfort in the fact that after 11 years, the sod and seed have finally blended in nicely with Dad’s neighbors. That pleases him, I’m sure. He was always so picky like that, and I’m sure the crab grass that had been there the past couple of years drove him crazy. As do the flowers that now adorn his headstone – “Weeds!” he always called them, no matter how beautiful. It’s a surreal experience that never changes – reading your dad’s name on the granite stone, with Mom’s name right next to his, no date of her death. I love and miss you, Dad. Say hi to Buddy for me. I really hope you two are friends by now.

My friend Judy’s funeral was today. Typically I don’t like funerals, but this one put me in a whole different place. I think this is “the place” one is supposed to be at a funeral. Peaceful. Uplifting. Forgiving. (Can’t omit tearful). Perhaps it was the way she died and how she lingered. Perhaps it was how she lived, always basking in Christ’s love. On Mother’s Day they took her off the vent and it was week before she landed safely in God’s arms. Back to where she belongs.

As I looked around the church and visited with so many people I hadn’t seen in a very long time, I was reminded me of how disconnected I’ve become in the last couple of years with so many people I enjoy and who bring joy. Old friends, really old friends, and old “forever” friends. When I took my salad to the kitchen, I thought to myself “This is where I want to be…in the church kitchen, communing and cooking with some of the most delightful, selfless, and giving women I know.” There is so much therapy in a church kitchen. Something sacred and promising about stirring a roaster full of scalloped potatoes and ham.
John Lennon knew:

Life is what happens
When you’re busy making other plans.

I’m really praying for life to “happen” right now. The days are so full, so busy, so worrisome sometimes, that I feel like life is just something that’s happening outside of myself. I’m an observer and not a participant like I so long to be – like I used to be. My life is running me, and it’s running me ragged. Autopilot, GPS not included. Oh, to get away from the demands of the daily grind and to share my time with God’s earth, the dirt, the spring, the tennis court, the bike trail….I don’t want excitement. I don’t need to be entertained. I just want to stir the scalloped potatoes and bathe in the joy that God intended.