Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gloria for Gloria

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day."  2 Timothy 4:  6-8

"It's over.  Call it a day.  Sorry that it had to end this way."

Somehow this morning, I can barely think of my own words.  The words of others--both transcendental and earthy--keep coming to mind.  Gloria left this home for her heavenly one a few hours ago, and even though we've been preparing for it for a couple of weeks, the news--delivered by Steve to me by a soft hand on my back when I was dead asleep but he was already ready for work, news which the hand made me know before he ever opened his mouth--still took my breath away.  SK, across the state for the whole of this death watch, has said repeatedly that she's felt like she's holding her breath, but now it feels like I can't find enough air.  Glo has been the cat with nine lives--survived nine deadly diseases--so I think there was part of me--all of us--who didn't really think this would kill her. But she died.

 Death comes.  It always does, which reminds me of the famous Emily Dickinson poem:
"Because I could not stop for death
It kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
And immortality."

This is the way of things. Sooner or later.  Peacefully or not.  Surrounded or alone.  Only once...unless, of course, you happen to be Lazarus, and then you have to pass this way twice.  Boy, what stories he could tell.
Of all the 'near death' stories we hear, his might be the one worth its weight in death clothes.  He knew what the passage is really like.  Wouldn't that be something to hear?
 And it makes me wonder--do you think he went  bounding back to the other side, once his life was finally used up for good?  He was going home to a place he'd already been.  The tale he can tell could ease a lot of the prime fear people live with in this sorry old world, I'm guessing.

But then, so does the tale Jesus tells.  He knows about death from the other side, too.  An amazing thing, when you think about it.  Born of earth, also died on earth.  And lived to tell about it.  Everything we suffer, everything we go through: that's what He shares with us.  Including life and death.

And now Beve's beloved sister.  Life and death, and now the veil is ripped to life beyond.  Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Gloria for Gloria this cloudy November morning. Gloria to God that all those extra parts are no longer needed and she's not only running on two legs, but can feel her toes as well.  Glory to Him that she can see out of two eyes, and breathe without having to bend over. I've honestly never known a person more ready for a new body than Glo.  And never known a broken one that glowed like Glo's either. So Gloria to God for Gloria. Today, as we travel out to Sequim to be with Grampie on this first, sad, Glo-less day, I'll be crying for our loss.  And laughing about her life, and being thankful for having laughed and cried with her. All three all at once.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have an obituary to write.

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