ending a year.

Hope and Nancy and I are on a road trip. Just a short trip to the Chicago area to see my sisters and my mom and Andrew and Allie.

We’ve been talking about a lot on the road and sitting around tables. Food, family history (old and new), sleep, plans, vacations. And we’ve been talking about God. Exploring, explaining, two and three generations joining in. We all start, simply, with our acceptance that God is. But then we go. Sharing experiences, sermons, stories. God may not always be the topic, but he’s always involved.

All of us lost an anchor this year. A husband, a dad, a grandfather. All of us, one time or another, have cried during the past month, missing him. But we all, I think, have been aware of a peace that makes no sense during this time. My mom in particular talks about this peace she’s had. This year she lost her partner of 55 years, her home of fourteen, and the edges of 80 years of memory. But she talks about the peace she has. To the people around her, to her kids, to her grandkids, to her self.

In his teaching about the law, Moses tells the people of Israel that

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

We often think this looks like Sunday school. But I think it looks less like that and more like talking around a table at Panera, in a small assisted-living living room, in a suburban dining room, in a car on US 30 somewhere in Indiana, at McDonalds now, and wherever you are sitting reading.

***

See you next year. Thanks for the last three.

4 thoughts on “ending a year.

  1. Cheryl Hyatt Smith

    Absolutely like what you’ve described.

    I continue to think of you and your family during the holidays. Your words remind me of how to pray for your mom. And that phrase? “The edges of 80 years of memory?” Speaks volumes friend. Thankful for her Peace.

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  2. Caryn Caffee

    We just got back from visiting with friends we’ve known since college. What you described is what we’ve been doing all these years. This time, Tim was a real contributor to the conversations. All 4 of the other kids are younger, and are off playing while the grown ups talk. But that generational thing really came into play when I heard Tim talking with the grown ups about God and music and life…
    Then, while we were all together, we got word from our college pastor – the one who did our counseling, premarriage seminars, and married each couple – that his wife was moved to hospice and is dying, probably in the next few days. We prayed for them. What a thing to be altogether when we learned that news. We were there for Pastor Dave’s retirement, many years ago, and he talked about seeing the fruit from his work, and referenced the families, with the new children who had been born. Now one is close to adulthood, and readily participating in the conversations.

    I’m so glad for the peace your mom has, and for your family relationships. They are inspiring and give me hope.

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