Friday, August 21, 2009

Graduation Day

Fairy Pictures, Images and Photos

Welcome, dear reader. Come in, sit down, have a mug of coffee or a cup of tea. Find a comfy spot and read a while, rest, open your mind, and maybe find thoughtful contemplation. Everyone is welcome here. You stay may be as long, or brief as you feel necessary for your journey. While you are here, it is my sincere hope that you find a bit of what you need and leave some of your care and dead weight behind.

Recently I lost a 34 year old student of a massive heart attack. To me, Teresa was an amazing woman. She had been through a lot in her 34 years, given birth to 4 beautiful children, and was in a place in her life where she wanted to make a difference. Admittedly, I was not quite sure what to make of her at first, but as I grew to know her, I appreciated her deeply. It was shocking and deeply saddening that she was gone so quickly. It made me contemplate how brief our time is here and how we must make good use of every moment that we are given. Yet, I can only hope that as suddenly as she went, that whatever she was sent to this world to do or learn, she accomplished. That SHE got her graduation day. That now, she is on to the next kingdom where she will rule in divine service to her King and be a strong a wise servant.

Saturday Ms. Francis died at the age of 91. In our community you really had to be a moron NOT to know her. She was a local piano teacher, Lion's Club Member, Rotarian, the ram-rod of the volunteer EMS for years. There wasn't anything (as far as I am concerned), that Francis could NOT do. There were many a cold, dreary piano lesson before school when due to one thing or another, I just was not prepared to pursue the fine art of caressing the ivories. Her motherly and grandmotherly insight always seemed to know just what would help. Whether it was sending me in to watch cartoons with her husband, John Hugh (whom I adored equally as much), or suddenly needing another cup of coffee, Francis knew just what to do. In her kitchen with a mug of tea or hot chocolate in my hands, all my cares would slip away as we talked about all matter of things. There was nothing too frivolous or infantile that you could not tell Francis. When nobody else understood, Ms. Francis did. Francis knew me before I was born, so we'd always been connected. Her favorite story to tell me was of Mother and Dad's wedding. That was back in the 60's when women still did elegant things like wear hats and gloves to semi-formal and formal affairs. Francis played the organ for the wedding and wore a tangerine orange outfit. Due to the excruciating heat of the July afternoon, and no air conditioning in the church, Francis had orange hands for a week! She delighted in never letting Dad forget that fact! Francis was a strong, amazing, powerful, empowering woman. One I am so lucky to have had in my life. She was only a couple of years younger than my grandmother, who is still with us. Her daughters had her laid out in a deep plum suit. The color suited her well. She was, after all, royalty. Even at the visitation with her daughters, their children, and grandchildren around, I could feel her and John Hugh there in the room with us all. I could imagine them arm-in-arm, reunited in Francis' graduation day, watching us all lovingly remember not only her, but both of them and what they had meant to each of us in our lives. I'm going to miss Ms. Francis. Miss the thought that I'll ever be able to pop through the back door of that gorgeous old house and hear her wonderful voice exclaim over me and my latest news anymore. Happy Graduation Francis, if anyone deserved it, it was you.

Yesterday was my soul sister's birthday. Chas turned 26. It was as close to the birthday that I wanted for her as distance and circumstance would allow. Talk about an amazing young woman. This is my Chas. She has lived lifetimes in her 26 years. Lifetimes that could destroy weaker people. These lifetimes have, and still are carving a brilliant masterpiece in this woman. She is so amazing and does not even know the half of what and who she is. Chas has the survivor gene. Even when the brain box screams: "I can't anymore," the soul digs in, reaches above, and carries on. The best thing is that the Lord doesn't leave his daughters to manage on their own. We ask, and he leads us to each other. The stronger, more long conditioned, healed of the group, lock hands with the next, and she hold out her hand; locking hands with the next, and so on. We are an interlocking chain of wonderful, powerful women. The last may not know the first, but we are all united in a bond that many will never have the misfortune of understanding.

But, maybe then, it isn't misfortune at all! Maybe it's a profound privilege.

About a month ago I told my Chas that this was her butterfly year. She gets to exit the crysalis that has been her previous life, dry her wings, and start exercising them for her new life. For her new flight. I don't think she was impressed at all. There was even the occasional late night text expressing her dismay at being a butterfly. Now, she has a new apartment, in a new location, where she has vastly better opportunities. She is very likly on the cusp of a whole new job that will be such an amazing opportunity for her! I'm so excited I can hardly stand myself sometimes. It's her graduation day. She gets to start a new chapter in her life.

We can always get stuck in the disappointment that our lives aren't where we had envisioned them for our present stage in life, and we can cry, and throw fits, but what good does that do? It's really just a waste of energy, but sometimes we just need to express our frustrations, get it all out, and not be such a pressure cooker about all the road blocks. Implosions aren't good. It just makes us a mess on the inside.

"When I look back at where I've been,
I see that what I am becoming is a whole
lot further down the road from where I was."
--- Gloria Gaither

I'm in the middle of a graduation period in my life. It is good. I can't wait to see where I'm going. This life graduation is an adventure. One I'm looking forward to.


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