Sunday, May 30, 2010

Reality Check

 I have been thinking for the last week or so about what Lynne is doing in Heaven. And the answer I keep getting is “dancing.” Now this is funny because Lynne liked to dance, and I didn’t. Clumsy white guys like me do not like to dance. 

This may surprise you, but when Lynne danced she really shook it. She shook it to the point it embarrassed me (which was really my issue, and not hers). It was a completely different aspect of who she was, and because I refused to stumble around the dance floor she did not get to shake it very often.

Lest we forget, there is no time in Heaven. Heaven exists outside of time. So dancing for a solid week in Heaven is no big deal because no one is counting. St. Augustine said that God sees past, present, and future all at once. Try and get your arms around that one, and you’ll have the barest whisper of an idea of eternity.

Meanwhile, back here on planet Earth, the reality of Life without Lynne creeps in bit-by-bit. It feels very odd after the busyness of a day at the office or a hearing in Court to drive home knowing that she will not be there. Her car sits in the garage, her clothes hang in the closet. We haven’t touched anything, and frankly have not even thought about it.

I did manage to take care of some essentials. I paid the cable bill; after all, it’s NCAA tourney time and a fellow has to manage his priorities! Oh, and I went down and checked on the utilities. I remember a friend who manages the local utility coming through the line at the funeral visitation and nicely asking, “Is there anything I can do?” I said, “yes, could you make sure that our power isn’t cut off? I have no idea if the bill has been paid. Do you have any influence there?” He said he did.

Women know, and men gladly neglect the thousand little things necessary to making a house a home. Warren Buffet, the famous investor, used to work out of an office upstairs at his home. He came down one day and noticed that the dining room walls had been painted. He asked his wife when she had that done. “Seven years ago, Warren” she told him.

I am seeing our house with new eyes and a new appreciation for my late wife. Now it’s “OK, take care of the dog,” which I never liked very much anyway, check on Caleb’s stuff at High School, water the houseplants, run the dishwasher, do the laundry (tomorrow) and so on. I didn’t know we had a subscription to Good Housekeeping. Where are all these catalogs coming from? What’s Coldwater Creek? And look at all the cosmetics, creams, and “body stuff!”

Lynne and I both garden so it’s time to work on that, but without her eye for color and design. What once seemed a bit dreary has new meaning.
Walking around looking at things in the house also triggers memories of laughter and good times. It also reminds me that a godly woman whose spirit once filled its rooms has departed. But hey, she’s dancing!
The reality of our situation is also settling in with my sons. I don’t want to put their thoughts and feelings on display, but I see in their faces the growing awareness that their mother has suddenly, and irretrievably left. We have a lot of work to do. Lynne was the only woman in a three-guy household. That alone should qualify any woman for sainthood, but we all know that Lynne’s enthusiasm, optimism, and love for God filled the walls of this home and the world beyond.

Those who know me well will tell you that I dislike noise, and complain a lot about all of the noisiness of the world. Now I will tell you that we should always be careful with our complaints. Few things seem relevant now, and absolute silence can be disquieting.
Allow me to close with Proverbs 31:10-12:
             An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
               The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
               She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

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