Good Friday, Is it Really Good?

In less than a week, another year of my life will have been spent…gone forever, never again to relive. Re-do’s are just impossible with time.

The older I get the closer to dependency I become, and that frightens me.

As a caregiver, I work with elderly seniors, and their level of dependency varies greatly. I love caring for them. I think of my mom and my grandmother, who have passed. I think of the quality of care I would want for them, the kind of care I hope they received.

In some ways I wonder if I’m trying to make up for all the times I was not there for my mom. As I care for these dear ones, I think of myself and the kind of care I hope I will receive one day. I have faith that if I show great patience, kindness, and compassion I will in return receive the same when my time has come.

I realize I have lived longer than the years I have yet to live. In the span of ten years the quality of my life could drastically change. At my age, ten years seem but a whisper upon the wind. It’ll come and go quickly.

The older I get the more I think about dying.

I think of my mom in the last days of her life. I think about sitting by her bedside, holding her hand, and wondering if she were aware of my presence. I desperately wanted to be there when she took her last breath, but I wasn’t. For that I do great guilt. Don’t we all hope when it’s our time to go we will be surrounded by those we love? My heart breaks when I think of her dying alone.

I wonder if one day I too will die alone.

Today is Good Friday, and once again I find myself thinking of death. I read about Jesus’ death on the cross. I think of his last hours…his thirst, his pain, and the blood streaming down his body. I think of him when his Father turned his back, and in great despair Jesus cried out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me!” In that moment Jesus, as man, was utterly alone. He experienced the total blackness of loneliness…the nothingness…an utter void of everything and everyone.

This is bad, but also it is good.

Reading this scripture I hear Jesus whisper within my heart, “Lisa, your mom was never alone…I was there, just as I’ll be there for you. I died alone so you wouldn’t have to.”

Today, His forever presence is what I will choose to dwell upon.

Good Friday truly is good.

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Fragile: Haiku 9/16/16

The following was inspired by today's daily post:  Fragile
(my stab at haiku)

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Glorious beauty

Seen only through fragile eyes

The way:  Death alone

1345721484_stairway-to-heaven

Melody of the Soul

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Photo borrowed from Along the Banks by Camille Eide

 

Sometimes I shiver with the thought of getting old.  This shiver, like a wave of panic, reminds me:  Time marches on and stops for no one.  Logically, I knew this all along; however, now that I’m over fifty, it’s beginning to really sink in. It’s quite the paradox, for as I gaze into the mirror, I see a body consistently aging, but my soul seems to remain young.  I ask myself, how can this be?  When did my body catch up and pass my soul?  My body descends into frailty, but my soul remains a kid of yesteryear.

I have come to the conclusion, that the soul never ages.  Bear in mind, I have no scientific proof to backup this theory; it is just that…a theory…or simply put, reflections from my redhead.  I hold to this logic because, as I said before, my body is beginning to feel its age-parts of me hurt that I never knew I had; and, all the while, as this daily decline marches on, my soul, on the other hand, desires to frolic like a freckle-faced kid running barefoot, and climbing trees.  Could this mean, I’m still a kid at heart?  I’m not sure, but this I know: The melody of my soul, still plays an energetic tune.

I further, believe it possible, that at the moment our soul entered our body, whether in the womb or upon birth, it came to us fully whole and fully competent.    The soul, the essence of us, came to us “ready to roll,” and was only limited by our lack of cognitive development.

In theory (mine of course), as our mind matured, we became aware of our soul, and this awareness, was the key,  that unlocked the knowledge and power held within.  Our “soul power” has always been inside, waiting patiently to be released.  The more we tap into its power, through thought, prayers or meditation, the more spiritual we become. And so, this continues, until we reach a point in our life, where our soul grows stronger, as our bodies grow weaker.  I think this true, regardless of one’s religion or lack thereof.  It’s a matter of tapping into the soul and everyone has a soul.

Often, when I think about getting old, I liken it to a bird, captured within her cage.  My soul, of course, is the bird, and my aging body, the cage.  Like the bird, I presume, the soul will be agile, still yearning to play; but my body will be too tired-too old-to satisfy her cravings.

I am reminded of Maya Angelou’s words, from her poem Caged Bird:

“But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.”
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And so, when I’ve come to the end, as stand upon my own “grave of dreams,” will my soul, like Maya’s caged bird, still sing and fly free upon the melodies of her song?    I hope so.
 As a Christian, I believe God lives in my soul.  Many years ago, by faith, I invited Him into my soul, and I believe He put His Spirit inside.  He promised He would, if only I’d ask, and I take Him at his word:  “For His Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am the child of God.”  (Romans 8:16)
And so, my hope is in God, and I know when I reach the valley of the shadow of death, God will be there, in my soul, so I will not have to face death, alone.  And when, death has come, and my last breath expired, the cage door will open, and this soul of mine will fly away and into a beautiful place, that my God has prepared for me.
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“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me…”  Psalms 23:4

“In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”  John 14:2

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