One year ago Maria and I were going back and forth to my mother's as she neared her end time on earth. Keeping vigil with someone you love is an "all hands on deck" kind of experience. There's everything you can do with prayer and there's nothing you can do but wait. So while I couldn't keep her from dying, I could honor her living.
We did that by arranging for different burials in different places. Weird, huh? I thought so until it all became personal and my sister and I did what was right for each of us. We attended the funeral in Oklahoma City, complete with burying the ashes at my sister's church memorial garden. Quite wonderful and organic.
Later I brought the other batch of mother's ashes to the columbarium in Seattle where she was interred in a vase and a quiet setting. Again, weird! But that was how my soul spoke to me and how I was going to honor my mother.
I think life is what you make of it. Lots of things are beyond our control, but nothing is beyond our appreciation Death, Illness, birth, graduation, baptism, boredom--all these experiences of life exist along a single spectrum. God gives us the ability to respond with our take of life. I believe that life lived well is one which finds hope in everything. Now that is not a smiley face pasted on the worst disaster of your life. Instead, it can be grieving with hope or seeing the light in darkness.
I wish for you a very happy new year, one filled with the power to make your day one of hope.
Love and hope,