“We can no longer experience life as a passenger. It is too easy to go to sleep. We must take the wheel and be in control of our lives.” Naomi Davis
Today a friend that I have known for decades called to fill me in. He was in hospice, shifting to maintenance drugs. We spoke of family and life. He told me that I was special and he appreciated the relationship that we have shared down through the years. He encouraged me to stay the same. He told me that he had made peace with life and that God wasn’t taking his life, he was freely giving it back to Him. As he spoke, the tears started to stream down my face. Despite my friend having a stroke and memory loss, he remembered me and my family. He was giving me directions and instructions to be free to tell everyone and share his story. I listened and as I did, the word, ‘forgiveness’ jumped out at me. So, I asked him to forgive me if I had done anything to him that was hurtful. He responded with the same request. I smiled.
He is a retired police officer and I am a person of color. Throughout our relationship we have laughed a lot and had passionate discussions. But despite our differing experiences, the foundation of every conversation was love. We talked about it today as well. We agreed love was all that mattered. As I hung up the phone, I started to descend into contemplation. Death brings clarity. But I couldn’t help but feel that I should have been more attentive. I mean, one year ago my mom returned to be with God after a year of rehab and hospice. I watched her yield this life to embrace her freedom from pain and suffering. It took me a year just to breath. Why does the mind drift back to the superficial?
I am not the only one guilty of drifting from tragedy into the trivial. What is it about the human mind that causes us to step back from trauma which seems to keep the door open to more pain instead of leaning in to get healed? I see it in society as we battle with the pandemic. The lack of empathy between human beings is tangible. We are approaching 200,000 deaths in the United States alone. Why are we unable or unwilling to shake off the irrelevant? I think of the numerous shootings in schools; the excessive force that has resulted in innocent lives being taken; the insensitivity toward the refugee’s incarcerated at the border when children were separated from parents. I see so much cruelty throughout history. It seems to be a thread in the human fabric. I have so many questions. When do we wake up and see, we can’t continue to live like this and survive with our souls intact?
Life Is Temporary and Precious
We do not live forever. No one gets an unlimited lifetime. In fact, many are felt to be taken prematurely. My mom was in her eighties when she passed and I still felt that I was cheated out of having more years with her. Our lives can be fulfilling or empty. We can live in a palace or in a cardboard box. We all have a limited amount of time to be alive, thrive, love and be loved. I have discovered a truth about being alive; it matters. We all matter. I had a break through when my friend called me, the slumber had engulfed me because I was not living my truth. I was settling again. Writing this blog has helped me to reawaken.
We come into this world with a supernatural gift. One that when nurtured lives beyond this lifetime. In fact, it stays with us even after we transition from this life. Hopefully you have experienced it. Love. We enter this world with the capacity to love forever. Isn’t that crazy! Many things can happen to cause us to lose love and replace it with hate and intolerance. But I believe that love is with and in us from the beginning. Love is light. Light changes everything. I had forgotten this. Life is not about what I get out of it but rather what I leave behind. God please help me to stay in touch with what is important and to remember the people who have touched me.
Rest In Peace My Friend
Before I finished this blog, my friend yielded to freedom from pain and suffering. Thank you Don. You filled this universe with love. Your life had purpose and meaning. You lived with no regrets. Thank you for opening your heart and shining the light of your love. You reminded me that love does last beyond this lifetime. I will try my best not to fall asleep again.