Between the Sunrise and the Sunset

Want to know how to give God a good laugh?   Tell Him what your plans are.  

Tuesday, my wife Vanessa and I went shopping for a present for a couple who are expecting their first child in July.  Thursday morning Vanessa went by her mother’s home to check on her.  Thursday afternoon she quietly  passed away without warning.   Thursday evening we were sitting in the home of Delores Morris waiting for the funeral home to come and remove her from the home where we were married at 30 years ago this August.  

That night my wife and my son and my daughter and I took turns crying.  I drew a bath for Vanessa, turned off the lights in the bathroom, lit some candles and sat on the floor talking to her.  Then we went to bed and I held her until we fell asleep.   I wouldn’t describe as a restful sleep. 

Friday we just carried on about as normally as one can when the last living grandparent on either side of the family is gone.  Vanessa just put on a robe and sat in her chair going through her photo albums choosing pictures she might want to use for the funeral.  The rest of us kind of just went about our day without many tears but not much laughter either..

Friday night I gave the present to the guy I work with.  Saturday afternoon Vanessa and I, along with her younger sister Angela will go to make the final arrangements.   Then we’ll go pick up their autistic brother to tell him in person what we could not–should not–tell him over the phone.  

Sunday, my son and I will go over to my mother-in-law’s house to cut the overgrown grass and trim the bushes.   What will happen to the house is a question that won’t be answered immediately.  That’s tomorrow’s problem.   We’re just trying to get thought today.

Next week I’ll put on a suit twice.   Once for a funeral in the middle of the week and then on the weekend for a wedding of one of Vanessa’s friends (Was she the one who recently mentioned at our age we are typically going to more funerals than weddings?   Might have been my brother.  Sounds like something he would say).

This must be that “Circle of Life” stuff  they kept going on about in The Lion King.  Babies are born and new light brightens the world while old people die and a bit of light goes out of it.  Relationships end and new ones begin.   And it goes on and on and on.   The world does not notice a single death unless it is the death of some celebrated or notorious.  It takes even less notice of another child entering even as an adult leaves.  

It’s funny how the death of somebody else makes you think and take stock of your own life.  It gives you reason to think of how many more breaths you have left in you.   But it doesn’t really matter how many you have remaining.   It only matters what you do with them that makes them count. 

Death comes creeping and life is defeated.  But only briefly.  As one light goes out another begins to shine and death is vanquished again.

“I Grieve” by Peter Gabriel

it was only one hour ago
it was all so different then
there’s nothing yet has really sunk in
looks like it always did
this flesh and bone
it’s just the way that you would tied in
now there’s no-one home

i grieve for you
you leave me
‘so hard to move on
still loving what’s gone
they say life carries on
carries on and on and on and on

the news that truly shocks is the empty empty page
while the final rattle rocks its empty empty cage
and i can’t handle this

i grieve for you
you leave me
let it out and move on
missing what’s gone
they say life carries on
they say life carries on and on and on

life carries on
in the people i meet
in everyone that’s out on the street
in all the dogs and cats
in the flies and rats
in the rot and the rust
in the ashes and the dust
life carries on and on and on and on
life carries on and on and on

it’s just the car that we ride in
a home we reside in
the face that we hide in
the way we are tied in
and life carries on and on and on and on
life carries on and on and on

did I dream this belief?
or did i believe this dream?
now i can find relief
i grieve

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