Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Mimisms ~ A Wild Summer Ride To The Old People's Home

 If last summer was the summer of physical pains and healing, this summer has been the season for expansion and insight. It's been interesting in a come-full-circle kinda way.

I'm learning in this season, that I don't know it all. That I never will.
I'm learning that pretending I have the answers is far less effective than admitting I don't. When I force the former before the latter, my big 'ole batch of firstborn-child-fix-it-me pride gets in the way and I discover that it's more exhausting to be brave than to surrender.

There's a word.

So this summer I've painfully walked away from a few situations that needed fixin' that weren't mine to fix. I won't backtrack again. Even if I have to watch a few people fall flat on their situations, it's their fall.
Surrender is full of freedom.

Recently, on one particularly long ride, I was thinking about the circle of life. One minute you're two and the next fifty-two. Then your parents start to leave and your children look at you like you looked in fear at your parents just twenty years ago when you were afraid of the age you are now. The generation in front of you looks at your time clock with envy. Aw, but it wasn't old at all. If only I could have gazed into that  fortune tellers crystal ball. I'm just halfway getting started.

 I finally learned how to be young in the land I thought was old.

Great-aunts and uncles seem to be bowing out one by one. People you love. Memories in their heads that you need to steal, because you see, they were there when you weren't. Time is ticking in the telling. And you need to hear. Pretty soon the generational nest is thinner, elders less reliable, strengths seamlessly transfer to the next crop of living and they leave as if somehow they planned it that way. One day they are no more.

What does it mean? Ever sat in that seat of question? If all we do is die in the end, what does it all mean and what does it matter? Wouldn't it be better to stop hoping if all you get is disappointment?

Such were my thoughts on this wild summer ride. And then it started to rain. This year above all, even above last year, it seems that rain has been my catalyst and teacher. Pay attention Mimi, said the windshield wiper voice, you're about to hit a bump. People drove on with their swishy-swashy ways to destinations that might bring joy or pain. The man in the truck in front of me? Bah! He got an earful. When he gets to the end of his road, no matter where he's been or what he's done, he's dust too. I told him so.
I wonder what he thinks the meaning of life other people have highway epiphanies like me? Do they talk to their windshields? Or are they just thinking about what to have for dinner? Anybody bodacious enough to drive a bright red pickup truck should know the meaning of life. He just travels on with those mudflaps flapping dirty water on my-car-with-the-psychiatrist's-couch-behind-the-wheel.   Can't he see I'm thinking here??!!

Why bother with holding hope when hopes can be dashed in one split second, I thought, what is the sense in that? I 'm not stupid. I'm a sensible person. I can see the ultimate end - the universal laws of cause and effect, the play of man's will on the world.
I, nor you, have any control over that.

 What is the sense in a 6-year-old child losing her life in a movie theater just because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time? And don't tell me if was her time and wrap it up in God's will. She had a lot of time left. Evil had the will. God, not so much.

We lost Sally Ride this week, who had so much more to give to the world, who taught young girls to fly by the seat of their dreams. And why? Because of the damned demon we call cancer. We can't find a cure for cancer but we can put a woman in space. Where's the universal sense in that? Why do I pray for the same situations over and over to be healed only to see more heartache, more struggle and more pain? Where is the peace? Must our lives just be an up and down struggle with more dashes to the ground than not? What IS the point? If we're all gonna die anyway, what do our lives matter? What did my father's life matter? My grandparents? They're dust. Maybe I should give up. Maybe I should stop trying.
What does my life matter? What is my life about?

And then I swear to you I had one of those moments when Someone dropped in my spirit the words that jolted me to my senses.

What was it for you in that car? 

You really had to bring that up, didn't You? 
I began to weep and I knew in an instant.
That nothing matters but finishing the race - not everyone's race - my race. None of us gets an upside down hourglass to know when our time is up. Except me. I kinda did...I saw my purpose dangling last year in an upside down Toyota and somehow the sand began to run the other way. And suddenly for me, it was all about time. Not how much I had left or how I measured my life in years and accomplishments, but how I measured my purpose. 
And that's an entirely different yardstick.
  I'd better get started. Nobody knows what tomorrow's rain ruts will bring.
But I have today.
That's what it was for me in that car.

And that's a span and a splash of twenty-four hours I could waste thinking about singing at the old people's home and actually singing at the old people's home.
'Cause I'll fit right in, ya know.
I'm not two anymore.

Join us for BlogBlast For Peace Nov 4, 2012


Randal H said...

Last week, a saw a death in the obituary that I couldn't make sense of. It appeared to be my 6th basketball coach. It said he was 70. I'm 56, it couldn't be him!!! I thought he was 70 when I was in the 6th grade. It couldn't be him, no way no was him.

Mimi Lenox said...

Randy - All 6th graders think their teachers are ancient. I'm sorry you lost your coach. Seventy isn't old at all.

Nancy MacMillan said...

Mimi, I was captivated by your words and the courage you had to share such vunerable thoughts. Most don't. We've all thought such thoughts at sometime in our life, if not yet, we will. It is only then that we can seek to learn the purpose of our existance. And if we look long enough we will find it hiding in the most unexpected place. This purpose that is ours will answer our questions with peace and assurance that everything will be alright.

Nancy MacMillan

Travis Cody said...

I have taken as part of my personal philosophy something my stepdad says all the time. Tomorrow is going to happen anyway...might as well do that thing you say you want to do.

So? Time is just going to keep right on doing its thing. Do yours right along with it.

Mimi Lenox said...

Nancy - Thank you so much for reading and commenting.
This purpose that is ours will answer our questions with peace and assurance that everything will be alright.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - What wise words from your stepdad. Thank you for sharing them. A solid philosophy.

Anonymous said...

"Nobody knows what tomorrow's rain ruts will bring.
But I have today."

Beautiful words and a post that I needed to read. I'll stop moaning about the summer of shock and awe and be grateful for today's rainbow.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - You did have the summer of shock and awe, no doubt, but you always seem to find the rainbow - with or without the rain.


Hogard said...

Last Friday I went to old people's home in Kent and I meet many senior citizens who were there not because they don't have child but because their child had kick them out. It is time for us to think that what we are doing with our parents.

Care homes in Kent

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