Remember how, yesterday, I told you Tom and I would be staying home all day? Well, I lied. At the spur-est of moments we hurried out the door to go see Dan In Real Life at the back-to-the-1940's theater where every ticket is just $3.50 (up from $1.50 when we first moved here). We were a tad late so, after buying the tickets, I told Tom to go ahead into the theater, sit in the middle, and I'd buy us some candy. I even asked what kind he'd prefer (chocolate-covered raisins, not my favorite) and just bought those--took only 20 seconds since the lobby was empty.
Well, I stepped into the dark theater, felt like I was suddenly blind (since the movie had just begun) and worried, "Eeks! I can barely see my way down this aisle--how will I ever find Tom? So I kept walking... walking... and couldn't see Tom anywhere. grr. I thought, "I'll just sit where we usually sit, hope to see Tom waving for me if he's across the aisle, then get up again and sit with him." sigh.
Ha. He was nowhere. I thought perhaps he'd backtracked and gone into the restroom, so I waited a minute, heard the door open, glanced back and there he stood. So I was the one waving to him and he found me, sat down, then chuckled and whispered he'd gone into the wrong theater. heh. Anyway, I loved the movie for the second time and Tom, afterward, said he'd enjoyed it and wouldn't mind seeing it again, which is, like, quite high praise coming from him.
But we did no shopping, no siree, not on Black Friday. We drove straight home afterward. No, we did stop at a convenience store for a newspaper.
But I forgot to tell you something, the point of this whole post. On our way out of our driveway earlier, we took our mail from our mailman and while driving to the theater I read a letter from one of my oldest, dearest friends, Ruth (especially dear because she and her fiance first introduced Tom to me). See, her parents were friends of my parents in the tiny mountain town where they met, then years later, they moved just around the corner (literally) from my parents into a coastal town at the tip of California.
And while Tom and I were there for my dad's memorial service last month, I was able to take a walk with Ruth because she was in town caring for her very ill mother. And well, in Ruth's letter yesterday, she'd written, "My mama went and visited your Dad yesterday morning, bright and early."
Who would have known so very many years ago that her mother and my dad would have passed away exactly three weeks apart? And that's the thing about death--we never know. None of us. And that one thought can make us crazy and worried and fearful and spoil all our days. Or, with acceptance, that thought can reside in a peaceful part of our brains and hearts while we go about doing and being what God wants us to do and be.
And loving and enjoying Life in the meantime. Not concentrating on accumulating the most stuff that we can, but rather, concentrating on loving and obeying God with all our hearts and allowing that love to spill over to everyone else who walks around with that date of death they do not know.
And all of this is helping me, as I pack pieces of my life into boxes, to fling away stuff and things which I'd thought I'd keep forever. But as I've seen this month, especially, there is no 'forever' upon this Earth. You really do leave it all behind in rooms you never see again. So every bag I give away becomes practice for leaving it all behind me someday--and I'm discovering that what I'd rather leave behind for others is not stuff and things to sort through, anyway...
... but instead, the intangibles, the important ones like good memories, kindness,wisdom, patience and compassion... things so very easy to tote around for, well, forever.