Thursday, January 28, 2010

Time, Being What It Is....

...And looking at the date: January 28, 2010.... It's the date I've been watching for the past year, wondering, wondering, wondering.... So here it is, and it is--what? It's a day. It's a date on the calendar, and tomorrow it will be gone (gone forever, if I want to be melodramatic about it), just as the day we lost Keren, January 28, 2009, is gone and will not be repeated. I've read the description of time and days being like pearls slipping by on a string. Or there's the saying Laura Ingalls Wilder quotes in Little Town on the Prairie:
Lost, between sunrise and sunset,
One golden hour, set with sixty diamond minutes.
No reward is offered, for it is gone forever.
Then again, on a lighter note, there's a quote I heard recently: "Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it unrolls."

So whether you look at time as something to be treasured, hoarded (if that were possible), or something whirling by, faster and faster, the truth cannot be avoided: Time passes, and then what is past is over, gone, done with. Ones we've loved go with it, dreams we've had may die--or fade--with it. The people are irreplaceable, though we are blessed with new friends and people to love, and we have memories of those who are gone. The dreams, we pray, are replaced with new, vibrant ones.

I'm as guilty as the next person for trying to hoard time. Over the past year I think I've saved, double-saved and triple-saved family photos because of the lurking fear that some moment may be lost forever. That "this" may be the last picture I have of my kids. I've always hung on to emails and letters because I think that maybe I'll want to look back at it, or need it. It's a way of trying to capture moments in time and hang on to them forever. I've realized that it can become a kind of obsession if I don't sit back and realize the proper perspective: while it's okay to have memories, I can't be held back by them. Time still moves forward, and if I don't take forward steps along with it, I'll never be happy, and I'll never enjoy the fullness of the plans God has for me.

From my perspective, our time with Keren will always seem too short. We had six years, four months, and a day. What is that? Already her life is creating legends in our home as Clare and Ev grapple with questions about Keren: "Why didn't Keren walk?" "Why didn't she talk?" Clare is keen on telling Jonathan things about Keren because "he didn't get to meet her, and he needs to know about her!" I love this, but I also know that what we tell him and what my little girls remember is changed by who we are now. We know there were things that drove us crazy about Keren (constantly getting her to stop poking her eyes or gouge her gums, keeping on top of tube-feedings and doctor appointments, changing bedding and clothes after diaper soak-throughs and spit-ups).... But while we know those things in our heads, the reality of the day-to-day struggle has faded. We really only remember and miss the beauty of a blue-eyed girl with incredible dark lashes, fly-away eyebrows, a squeal that could burst our eardrums and a hug that could crack our bones. Of course, those are the memories that are worth holding. And as for the time her life spanned, I am reminded continually of Psalm 139:16:
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
                   (New Living Translation)
So the time was the right time, and as much as I might not like it, Keren's life had accomplished what it needed to. I have to trust that the God who loves Keren and me infinitely beyond anything I can imagine intends the same for me. That the time He has given me is the time needed to accomplish what He wants for my life. As a result I can quit worrying about everything I'm doing or not doing and wondering if it's "enough." I can't sit around living in the past, wishing things were different and Keren was still here. Instead I want to let Him use me and be willing to do what He asks of me. I need to rest in Him.

And I'm learning to rest in Him.... Because I know that if I'm not where I thought I should be a year from now, a month--even a day, I can still be at peace and have joy, because I know I am where He wants me to be. The lost loved ones, like Keren, are not gone forever and mourned without relief. I can learn from their lives, and as a result grow and help others. The lost dreams are not "dreams deferred;" rather, they are simply memories, sweet trinkets to contemplate and laugh over. And now and then a gem is discovered that I realize will work for just this occasion, and I realize that's why God had me leave it in the box until now.

1 comment:

  1. Good and wise thoughts. Thanks for sharing your perspective on today. Love ya, Aunt Sally