The Between Times

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. 266beb02-395e-49b2-af42-bd9ae0833612

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. c7b43e26-75e3-4aa8-8164-94e7cc3bd83e

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. 4e0f3472-8055-4601-aadb-c7ca43b3fc8d

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

 Love to hear from you.

12 responses to “The Between Times

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your son-in-law’s father, Marsha. Your description of “Inbetween Times” will resonate with a lot of people. So often in life it seems we are waiting. I agree with you that we humans can endure a lot of pain. The passage of time does a lot to ease suffering. Sending best wishes to your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Helena. Yes, I agree the passage of time is a wonderful gift. When we lost our two precious doggies Scout & Simon within weeks of each other, I literally cried for six straight months and every night of that time. And then one day I realized I hadn’t cried myself to sleep. Thanks for your thoughts and for stopping by. 🙂


  2. Hi Marcia, Helena is a tough act to follow. Her comment said everything I wanted to say only better. We have indeed all gone through the times you describe so well. All the best to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Jo-Ann. I almost didn’t write this one, but you know I generally write a post that’s very connected to what’s going on in my life. This loss has affected everyone in my family. But we will move on. His wife is strong and she will get through this. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was an important and moving post, Marsha. Something we think about, but never mention.

    Life is made up of “between times” and sometimes they aren’t the most pleasant of times.

    I’ve had many funerals in my lifetime and do keep the holy cards. On both sides of my large family, everyone is gone in the older generation except for one aunt in her 90s. We are next. 🙂 It’s unreal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Susan, you hit on it. Back in the day, with our friends, we’d wonder which of our kids would marry first, then which would have a baby first. Now…all of the older generation, but one Aunt on my side is gone on. We’re next. It definitely brings you up short. Thanks so much for stopping and sharing. 🙂


  4. Great post. Having been through both a slow passing and a sudden, unexpected passing and can honestly say there’s no easy way to lose a loved one. My condolences on your recent loss. My heart goes out to your son-in-law and family.

    We have our funerals and head-stones paid for. Our daughter can’t bring herself to discuss that sort of thing, but I think someday, she’ll be relieved we took care of it for her. Not sure I care to have an obituary run in the newspaper. Why have the last thing written about me be in past tense. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Jerrie. Yes, your daughter will be grateful when the time comes to see you’ve been so thoughtful to take care of these important tasks. Your family and friends will look for an obit, Jerrie. Pulling together the stuff for them will be helpful. Besides, our books are written in the past tense, so it makes sense the obits would be too. I frequently read obits. Some are quite moving. Thanks for stopping and sharing. 🙂


  5. Pingback: Not Quite Ready To Move | Marsha R. West·

  6. Hi Marsha, Very touching blog post about the Between Times. I’m sure I will think of that phrase now when I face several of the situations you spoke of. Please extend my condolences to your family. One of my high school friends lost her husband last year. We were in school together from about fifth grade thru graduation. His passing brought home the truth that I had a finite time on earth too. I agree with you about passing on to another life after this one is over. It’ll be a fabulous place full of jubilation. We purchased our cemetery plots in Maple Grove Cemetery. We will be on a hill overlooking the high school. Also made arrangements with the funeral home for our plans, but I haven’t actually written down hymns or verses for the funeral service–celebration of life. I love too many to make a choice I guess. But you can bet there will be roses in the casket spray!!


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