A Mother and her Two Daughters

22 April 2010

A Day of Reflection

This morning I rode with friends to McCrory, Arkansas.  We were there to be with a dear friend and colleague, Denver, who buried his mother after a very unexpected death.  In his words, her passing was too fast and her life too short.  President Clinton was there to also make some public remarks about this grand lady’s life.  And his words have been with me all the day. 

He talked about how human life is a gift from God, our personal responsibility to make the best of it.  He shared some beautiful and a few funny stories about Ann Peacock, about how she shared her love and life and talents and resources with so many – lovely stories that she will forever be remembered by.  But the former President went on to remind us that in the end, when eternal life begins, we have to give our human life back.   And for those who have lived a meaningful life that has been filled with love and richly shared with so many, giving it back makes it all the more difficult for those who are left behind. 

It was a difficult day for Ann’s family and friends as we gathered in that beautiful country church, to see her life given back so unexpectedly.  But her life as a wife, and mother and heartfelt friend and neighbor – she leaves that legacy behind, never to be taken away by death. 

After the ride to McCrory and back, I spent the afternoon resting, with a few naps here and there.  And then Mica and Greg came by with some delicious homemade chicken noodle soup AND my very favorite meringue and chocolate chip cookies.  Tim added my favorite grilled cheese sandwich, meaning a very good dinner to accompany an almost quiet night.

Do you ever find yourself just having a day of reflection?  Well, today has been that day for me.  So many reminders about the gift of life, the beauty of love between life partners and children and friends, the goodness to strangers, the sense of loss when others leave us behind to continue our own journey. 

I am very tired.  This always happens right after the chemo treatments.  So, tonight I will close this post with my favorite prayer – the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love.  Where there is injury let me sow pardon.  Where there is doubt let me sow faith.  Where there is despair let me give hope.  Where there is darkness let me give light.  Where there is sadness let me give joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not try to be comforted but to comfort, not try to be understood but to understand, not try to be loved but to love. Because it is in giving that we receive, it is in forgiving that we are forgiven, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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