I am thinking... about family and relationships. I made a very quick one-night trip to Jacksonville, Florida, to visit my grandfather over this past weekend before he passed away. He went into hospice care after it was determined that he was not strong enough to endure any more procedures to try to correct issues with a feeding tube and internal bleeding. He was 99 years old. My brother Mike drove down one day last week to visit him. Once it was determined that he was entering hospice, my other two brothers, our dad, and I all went down to visit him one last time.
I met my dad and youngest brother, Tim, in Atlanta and rode the rest of the way down with them. It is amazing how some things never change... Tim challenged me to the Alphabet Game a couple times. I pointed out all the old landmarks and which things were different from when we used to make this drive 20 years ago. We listened to all my "songs that remind me of Florida" that I have since collected on five CDs. And we listened to King Crimson, a band my dad liked back in their day and then passed on to us. I accidentally brought his CD back home with me, whoops. We were listening to my CD, The Compact King Crimson, and Tim had passed back our dad's CD... and it ended up coming home with me in my pile of CDs.
|The "rocket" at Krystal's in Tifton, one of my so-called landmarks. It is really a missile, but we called it a rocket as kids and our parents never corrected us. so it is a rocket. Just like billiards cues are "pool sticks."|
I am wondering... about all the little ways God reveals himself to us in the daily things. When I see little connections, little coincidences, little reminders... I choose to believe that God is allowing these things to touch our hearts. A few weeks ago, I wore my mom's old charm bracelet to our Little Flowers tea party because it has a charm on it shaped like a teacup. I happened to think of that, and so I put it on. She had collected charms on it in her teenage years, and when I was a young teen, she gave the bracelet to me. I rarely wear it now, but did so that day because of the teacup. Later that day, I got the call from my mom that Grandaddy was in the hospital, which would lead to the surgery to place the feeding tube that would lead to his failing health up until his passing today (I actually got a call while at the tea party and let it go to voicemail, then called my mom back afterward). Later that day I was also picking up reprints of old photos to use at the reception following Tim's ordination to the transitional deaconate. An unrelated photo in one of the sets of negatives pointed out my charm bracelet, drawing attention to it in the photo - the charm bracelet I was wearing that very day. It was only then that I looked at the bracelet on my wrist and realized that my grandaddy, my mom's mom, had likely given her some of these charms. One of them is specifically a charm of the Prudential building in Jacksonville where he used to work. I didn't even make the connection until seeing the charm bracelet so obviously in the old photo, which caused me to pause and think about it. I felt prompted to wear the bracelet this weekend and show it to Grandaddy when we saw him, specifically the charm shaped like his old building. Whether he remembered it or not I couldn't tell, as he was getting tired at that point, but I am glad I had that chance of connection, to show him something meaningful from his past that connects me to him through my mother, and to show that I have something that will keep his memory alive into the future. Perhaps these kinds of things are God's way of using our past in allowing Him to speak to us through it.
|Current photos of the charm bracelet - you can see the Prudential building charm hanging down at the bottom.|
I am hearing... my dad's King Crimson CD. Figured I might as well listen while I have it. We didn't listen to it in the car because he and Tim said it wasn't one of their best ones. I agree; for some reason The Court of the Crimson King is done to some blues tune and is only 48 seconds long... huh????? Apparently it is a live album. Maybe I should listen to the second disc and see if I can endure 45 minutes of 21st Century Schizoid Man...
Not part of the liturgical year, specifically, but we will be practicing the corporal and spiritual works of praying for the living and the dead, comforting the sorrowful, and burying the dead in a couple days. These are important works that leave a powerful impression when lived out during childhood. Again, all my brothers will be gathering in Florida for my grandfather's funeral. Being raised Catholic gives you an unexplainable drive to live these things out. You feel obligated to attend funerals, to visit and pray at the final resting places of those who have gone before you, to light pray candles in memory of deceased family and friends... and it is not a bad thing, this obligation. It is like a reflex, a second nature thing, that just comes intuitively as the right thing to do.
Around the house... laundry so we can pack a suitcase. General cleaning and tidying up.
|The old-style Y-shaped picnic shelters at Georgia rest areas along the interstates.|
|Gonna have to stop and show this to my kids on the drive this time... see if they can guess what it is, ha.|
Pondering these words... "True religion is the search of the soul for God in order to surrender itself to him, the search for his will in order to fulfill it, the search for truth in order to conform to it. False religion is the inverse. It makes a god out of oneself; it makes one's own will supreme; it attempts to reshape reality to fit one's own desires. True religion is about surrender, while false religion is about control." -Michael O'Brien
*Attend out of town funeral
*We were going to see old out of town friends for a local baseball game, but we will be gone then, so we are going to try to catch them when they get into town tomorrow evening and visit for a bit and have dinner together!
*See if I can pick up eggs before we leave