Choose Life

H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

July 24, 2006

CONGRATS!! Plus, Musings on Growing Old, and on Love.

H2 finished his last class on Thursday. He is officially finished with college (for now). Yesterday they posted his final grade. He finishes with a 3.5 GPA, which is, of course, EXCELLENT!!!! We are bustin’ our buttons with pride for him! Way to go, DJ! Now we pray that his job hunting will go well. He’s worked long and hard to achieve his goal of getting into Federal law enforcement. We hope he is successful!

I guess I have a lot of the signs that I’m growing old. There is, of course, the usual forgetfulness, eyesight not as sharp as it was, and having to say, “Excuse me? What did you say?” way too often. But lately I’ve noticed that I pay more attention to the obituaries than I used to. It seems that I know more and more people who are leaving this life for a better one, many who are my own age or younger. It gives pause for thought.

I think sometimes, “Will I still be here tomorrow”? Who knows for sure? A coworker had his 40th birthday last week. After congratulating him, I asked jokingly, “So, how many do you have left”? It’s a question that I ask myself more and more frequently.

What would happen if we knew that tomorrow we were going to die? Would we be doing the same things in the same way? Would we treat people the same? Would we lament that we had not lived up to the life that we know God wanted for us? Would we drop to our knees and beg for forgiveness, hoping in desperate hope that it was not too late for repentence?

I guess my point is that none of us knows how many years, months, weeks, days, hours we have left on this earth.We have been gifted with life from a loving and giving God. We know our God, one almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, as Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. Three distinct persons, yet still only one God. A mystery.

This Trinitarian God of ours is Love beyond love. It’s the powerful love of God the Father for the Son, and the love of God the Son for the Father, that is expressed in God the Holy Spirit. It is that love in which we are baptized and are called to share with each other throughout our lives. It is that love which says that ALL people are our brothers and sisters, children of God, and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Not an easy task, in some cases, yet, our calling still.

I had the honor on July 1st to “preside” at the wedding of my son, Kenneth, to his beautiful bride, Gisselle. I put preside in quotes because all I did was witness the marriage. In actuality the Sacrament of Marriage is given be the bride and groom to each other, and witnessed by a representative of the Church.

Two weeks later Linda and I attended the wedding of our niece, Jennifer to her husband, Brian. The pastor gave a stirring homily on love and responsibility and what that love would entail to be enduring. (Please pray for the pastor and his family. He died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack this weekend. Pray also for his congregation, who are feeling a great loss, as well).

Next weekend I will again be a witness at a wedding, this time to the sister of a friend and former coworker of Linda’s. I’ve been working with them to prepare them for marriage, and I will deliver a homily during the wedding ceremony which, hopefully, will be more than just a necessary part of the ceremony to be tolerated, but nothing more.

Looking back on KenEllie’s wedding, and forward to the one next week, I keep thinking about what it is that I would really like for the newlyweds to take away from my homily. I think I’d really like them to try to understand love as I’ve come to understand it. I’d like them to see love as something more than the passion of youth, a brilliant flame that fades with time. I’d like them to see that that flame never really goes away; rather, it remains, constant and warm, protecting and comforting, understanding and forgiving. It is beautiful in all its forms.

The country singer, Clint Black, captured the essence of true marital love in his song, “Something That We Do”. I wish I had the talent to put it so well, but lacking that, I give you his words:

“I remember well the day we wed,
I can see that picture in my head.
I still believe the words we said
forever will ring true.

Love is certain, love is kind,
Love is yours and love is mine.
But it isn't something that we find,
It's something that we do.

It's holding tight, letting go.
It's flying high and laying low.
Let your strongest feelings show,
and your weakness, too.

It's a little and a lot to ask,
an endless and a welcome task.
Love isn't something that we have,
it's something that we do.

We help to make each other all that we can be,
though we can find our strength and inspiration independently.
The way we work together is what sets our love apart,
so closely that you can't tell where I end and where you start.

It gives me heart remembering how
we started with a simple vow.
There's so much to look back on now,
still it feels brand-new.

We're on a road that has no end,
and each day we begin again.
Love's not just something that we're in,
it's something that we do.

We help to make each other all that we can be,
though we can find our strength and inspiration independently.
The way we work together is what sets our love apart,
so closely that you can't tell where I end and where you start.

Love is wide, love is long.
Love is deep and love is strong.
Love is why I love this song,
and I hope you love it too.

I remember well the day we wed,
I can see that picture in my head.
Love isn't just those words we said,
it's something that we do.

There's no request too big or small.
We give ourselves, we give our all.
Love isn't someplace that we fall,
It's something that we do.”

Sometimes love takes a little work, but anything that is worth anything is worth even more when a little effort is involved to achieve it. My prayer for us all is that we may grow to love God and one another in a manner that reflects God’s love for us!!

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Blogger Hannah said...

I love it when you begin to finish each others' sentences. But if he knows what I am thinking, why doesn't he pick up his own socks??

Much love from H-town, we miss you lots!!

10:09 AM  
Anonymous SSSPPPIIINNNEEEYYY!!! said...

14 years August 01. Who would have ever believed it! Stop being so damn bummed out and live life to its fullest. Its like you said, who knows what will happen tommorrow! Missing you in you're home town....(hint!!!) J

2:34 PM  

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