You know what I’m talking about. The Between Times.
Between high school graduation and leaving for college.
Waiting to hear back from the job interview.
You’ve got the job, but it’s not time to move on yet.
You’re leaving a job and the new person has come in and you’re “transitioning” until he she is doing it all and you’re just sitting around.
You’ve gotten a medical report that means you need surgery, but it won’t be for a month.
You’ve learned your best friend is moving across country in six months.
A loved one or friend has a terminal illness. They can’t get better. There’s nothing more to do, and yet they don’t pass on.
Definitely the Between Times. I don’t handle these times well.
Twenty-five years ago a young woman in our church had cancer and she was dying. Her friends rallied around and were so supportive. They all spoke at the memorial service about how strong she was and what a privilege it had been for them to stand and wait with her and what they’d learned from her.
I was impressed. I’m not sure I can do that. My mother passed on (I now believe this is really a good way of speaking of death. If it’s not sudden, it’s a general decline—a passing from this world to the next, a letting go.) It was July about 13 years ago. I was with her the last week of her life, but she had a very gentle passing. The Hospice Angels who took care of her off and on the last year of her life, all stopped by to say good-by to her and to tell me what a wonderful woman she was.
I cried buckets, and it was painful and there were times when I asked God, “How long?” But still, compared to someone dying from cancer, her leave taking was gentle. For which I’m very grateful for her sake and my own.
What got my thoughts running on this vein is that my son-in-law lost his father last Sunday to what must be the worst of diseases, pancreatic cancer. His dad was a good man, a hail-fellow-well-met kind of a guy who never met a stranger. He was a good father, husband, grandfather, and friend. I’m sure the memorial service will be packed with folks who want to pay a final tribute to him. He had the best smile, lighting up his face.
But the last two months, and especially the last two weeks have been hell for him and the family.
Now everyone is in another Between Time. Between the passing and the services. With the long time ahead of learning to live without him. Life will be different for everyone.
His grandchildren are about the same age as my kids were when my father died. My daughter and I have talked about those times. My memories are limited. I’m afraid I paid little attention to my daughters because I was so afraid I’d lose my mother. That would’ve been unbearable.
But then all things are bearable. Humans are resilient.
Somehow, we go on.
This is certainly a reminder to get our affairs in order. To tell our family and friends how much we love them and how much they mean to us.
So are your affairs in order? Have you made plans for your funeral? Written an obituary? Or at least put all the info in one place your family members know about? My very practical and organized mother had done that. It was such a blessing. I’ve promised my daughters and husband to do that, but so far I’ve just started on the obit info. Just as I kept wedding programs, I now keep memorial service programs.
Next week updates on the Lakehouse with pictures. And that’s another Between Times. All the pics are down from the walls of our current house. Having a garage sale on Saturday. But the Lakehouse isn’t ready for us yet and our house isn’t yet on the market. Definitely Between Times.
The pics here are all Mandala Messages from Donna Bearden. You can sign up to receive them. Contact Donna firstname.lastname@example.org