Thursday, August 24, 2017

Before it’s too late!

Who can look into the future to know what will arise? 

In my July 27 post, I told you I was taking a break for family matters—but I didn’t anticipate being away for three weeks! 

Neither could I imagine what would happen to my heart.

My husband and I spent time with a parent nearing death. A few days ago, we said goodbye, celebrated his life, and comforted loved ones left behind.

Another precious relative, after enduring way too many tragedies in the past few months, ended up in the ER.

Three days ago, a special uncle died.

And we also continue to watch another dear one who has only days—or maybe hours—to live.

I’ve been experiencing some hiraeth moments, especially after my uncle’s death.

Do you remember my posts about hiraeth? Pronounced HEER-eyeth (roll the r), it’s a Welsh concept which, according to the University of Wales, can include “a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness….”

It has to do with a strong attachment to a homelike place and a hankering to return to it. That’s what I’ve been experiencing—a longing to return to the halcyon years I spent with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Love, joy, kindness, and fun filled those times. And total acceptance. And safety. That’s why something in me longs to return to those people and those days.

It calls our names: we recognize the voice,
and it tells us that place is where we belong,
that place, where our roots go down deeper than our roots.
That is our home of homes.

But I digress. Anyway, now you know why I’ve been away from SM 101.

And little did I know how relevant that July 27 post would be—the last post before my break. Do you remember it? I encouraged you to write the important stuff before it’s too late.

I asked:

What wisdom can you impart to your kids and grandkids before you die?
What balance? What perspective?
What reassurance?
What can you demystify for them?

And I suggested you include those accounts in your memoir. (Click here to read Write the important stuff before it’s too late.)

With these recent reminders of life’s fragility, I’m even more convinced we need to be intentional about writing our stories—for the benefit of those who come after us. Not because you and I are so great, but because God is so great.   

“The greatness of old age is that it has wisdom, which is . . . important for young people. A young person who is about to face life has thousands of problems, but an old man can demystify many of those problems.” (Father Aldo Trento, quoted in Why Grandparents Matter)

My experience with loved ones these three weeks reminds me:

Life is short.
You don’t know how much longer you’ll have good enough health—
or even life—
to put your important stories into writing.

Don’t put it off!

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