This morning found me at the funeral of the father of my high school best friend. I sat there in the church, hard pew beneath me, and thought about how time passes so quickly (truly) and how much I wish I had given less of a damn for so many years what others thought and had worried less about what ‘might’ happen if I had chosen my dreams over the safe path. But my road was my road. And my pain was my pain. It’s best, I think, to make peace with that while one can before half your life disappears out from under you. A hard truth to feel…more uncomfortable than the cushionless pew beneath me....
The service was a basic catholic Eucharist, and I managed to hold it together for much of it until the priest was wrapping up his homily. He recounted that toward the end of his life, my friend's dad was trying to communicate something to her mother, his wife of 43 years, but he was struggling to speak. When he finally got the message across, he repeated it to his bride, over and over: 'to have and to hold...to have and to hold....'
In his final breaths, it was the LOVE that mattered most. It was the love for her, for his family, that he wanted both to leave behind and to take with him into his final sleep. It was that love that, beyond the grave, left me in tears that still, hours later, continue to catch in my throat.
Days move quickly lately. Months slip past, almost unnoticeably. Years are gone in a matter of breaths. It is the LOVE that carries us through. It is the LOVE that makes the hard pew of life more bearable for one more day, one more hour, one more minute.
I don't know what to do with myself, half the time, but I do know what I want. I want the 'til death do us part kind of love. I want to make my peace with what still needs to be surfaced in my own life...to put to rest the things that are preventing me from living more deeply, from having what I want out of life.
And although I am sad that it was death that brought me to these thoughts this morning, I am profoundly grateful for the chance to redirect myself while there is still daylight to burn. It's life I'm after. It's love I want. It's continuous perspective I need. I'll take these gifts where I can get them. However they come, let them come.