Today I'm driving to Houston. My cousin died a few days ago and I want to be there for his funeral tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.
Ronnie was only 64. Not old, but not young, either. I guess "just enough time", as the Band Perry sings... but I can't imagine ever thinking I've had enough time.
I'd prefer not to be going to Ronnie's funeral tomorrow, although what better way to remind us of our mortality as we enter this season of Lent than to have someone we love and care about die?
As I prepared for my trip this morning, I got word that a dear friend's husband died suddenly yesterday. For the past two years they've lived in separate countries, longing for the day when she could join him in Spain and they'd finally be together longer than too-short visits that passed oh, so quickly.
Just over a month ago, that day finally came. And now, just like that, he's gone.
I'm grateful they were together, that there wasn't still an ocean separating them when he died, but my heart breaks for her as all of their hopes and plans and dreams for the future turn to ashes.
That's the thing about life. We can make all kinds of plans and dream all kinds of dreams, but there's no guarantee any of them will come true.
Should we stop planning? Stop dreaming?
Heck no. Even if we can't control what happens in our lives, we can control how we react to the unexpected. We can still try to make the most of each moment we're given, even if it we feel there's never enough time. We can try to embrace the lessons in our tears as much as those in our laughter.
I came across a wonderful reminder of this on Beth's blog yesterday in the video below. I felt it was too powerful a story not to share.
I haven't made my Lenten promise yet, but I have a feeling it will have something to do with my answer to the question below...
"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
~ Mary Oliver
How would you answer that question?
Please join me in praying for peace and strength for these and others who have recently lost loved ones, including my high school classmate, Tanya, whose husband died today.