Monday, March 24, 2014

A Long Life

It's no secret. I don't expect to live a long life. It makes my kids upset when I say this, but I just want them to know that it's okay.

I ain't mad about it.

I am fully aware that God ordains all of our days. I am also fully aware that long-life genes may not be in my DNA.

Granted, my Grandma Ellen lived until her mid-80's, but she was one of 5 siblings. One died in her 30's. My Mom's Dad died when he was 40. My own Mom died at 59.

I wrote in another post about the last time I saw my Grandmother's brother, Raymond. He looked at me and said, "in our family, there's diabetes and heart disease...if one don't get ya, the other one will." They were the last words he spoke to me before he died of a heart attack.

My Mom died when she was 59. It was unexpected and sudden. She did have high cholesterol, but was managing it with medication. Her autopsy showed that she had had a heart attack 2 weeks prior to her death. She didn't know because her symptoms were not the "typical" symptoms that we have all heard about.

A long life.

I remember when my little brother decided to enlist in the Army. I was FREAKING OUT. Even tho we are a military family...4 generations so far...I did not want to think about someone I love being in harm's way. I remember expressing my concerns to him...about how dangerous it could be and that he could DIE. He was a helicopter pilot for Goodness' sake. He said these words, and they have stayed with me all these years: "well, who wants to live a long, boring life, anyway?"

I mean, of course, he didn't want to die. He didn't want to be in danger...shot at, captured, tortured, killed...all the things that raced through my mind at night. But he knew what I also knew...only he had taken it to heart, "...all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began." (Psalm 139: 16)

A long life.

I don't really ever have the vision in my mind of sitting on the front porch with Jim in our old age. That may sound morbid, but I just don't. And it's okay. Because while I have seen how difficult it is on the ones left behind, I just have to trust that I've done my best and that God will fill in all the gaps if I'm gone too soon.

It's also okay if I DO get that whole sitting-on-the-front-porch thing! I would be so happy to spend my "golden years" with my have more time with our invest in the lives of our grandchildren. How cool would that be?

A long life.

This is the reason that I that when I'm gone, my children and grandchildren will know the answers to some of the questions they may have one day...about life...about me. I just know that there are things I wish I could talk to my Mom about. We didn't really share deep conversations about faith and family or anything like that. Sadly. But, even tho she didn't bring up those subjects with me, I like to think that if she was here now...I would bring them up with her.

You know...just questions about her childhood...her she came to know Jesus...the struggles she had in her life...her dreams. All the stuff that you wish you could ask your Mom.

But she left us many things. She used her voice to sing...I use mine to write. And hopefully to encourage. And she had such a wonderful sense of humor...we, my sisters, brother and I...we all appreciate that. I know that I have used humor to get through many of the hard times in my life. Humor didn't change my circumstances, necessarily...but it changed my outlook, my perspective, my attitude.

I hope that comes through my writing. Although there are serious issues our family faces, LIKE WE ALL DO, I like to write about the funny stuff that goes on...the funny things Joshua says and does. It just makes me happy.

I hope I am remembered as a good Mom...a loyal and funny friend...and someone who tried to find the good in everything.

"O LORD, You alone are my hope. I've trusted You, O LORD, from childhood." Psalm 71:5

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