Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Life and death

What looked like a not-too-busy week is getting crazy. Fred, one of the long-time members at church died yesterday. He had been in the hospital for a week and a half. We will have the funeral at church Friday.

Saturday I have a wedding with some friends at my old church. They're getting married in a park, next to a creek; should be fun!

Saturday night is Andy's annual Oktoburkefest (he lives in Burke, hence the goofy spelling). Andy brags that it is Burke's largest Oktoberfest celebration. Should be fun!

Sunday is church. Lisa will be gone so I am speaking.

I've spent a lot of time at Alexandria Hospital the last few weeks. Mom was there having surgery and recovering, the daughter of a church member was there, then Fred, the gentleman who died was in.

Watching Fred reminded me so much of when Dad died, and the hours I spent next to his bed, watching his body shut down, feeling so helpless.

Twice last week I left Fred feeling completely drained; empty. I walked through the maze of halls toward the exit, got my parking ticket stamped, then walked out. Both days I came out to see young couples leaving the hospital with new babies. I felt swirling emotions--sadness about the death of loved ones, mixed with the joy of new life. It was strange to feel such joy for total strangers, but I felt connected to them. I wanted to go up to them and say, "Isn't it great!" (It was only 5 months ago that we brought Brady home from the hospital, and I can hardly remember or imagine life without him!)

Life and death. An old man dying behind me and new life coming out into the world in front of me. Each gives more meaning to the other. Life is more precious because of its shortness. At 41 I realize my life is probably more than half over. That is scary, but also challenges me to make the most of each day. To love my family. To try to accomplish something for God. To enjoy all the blessings I have.

And as scary as death seems, it is not meaningless. It is a part of life. The focus of the people who knew Fred is not on his death, but his life. All he did. The legacy he left, the stories, the history. And on the life he now lives.

I love my life. My family. And I trust there are even better things to come, as my kids grow, as we have more kids (exciting and scary!).

I realize this post is all about me...God is also really dealing with me on some other things, challenging things, outside myself. More about that soon...

1 comment:

Josh said...

hey Todd,

it is crazy how life and death are so intertwined isn't it, and how they seem to remind us of each other in so many unspoken ways?

its weird i hadn't thought about those feelings in a while, those feelings of leaving someone's bedside as they are dying, and those are such powerful emotions and intuitions. it is so important to keep those feelings close, not morbidly so, but in a quiet rememberance.