Sibling Challenge

Careful! It will all fall down!

Challenges come in many forms and require a good bit more than the thinking and writing of an “epic post”.  Our reward: to be part of an experience in our blogging community.  Sometimes the challenge comes in finding the courage to publish said post.

Challenges can be as simple as a child, so proud of his hard work creating the best bridge ever that he watches, in unbelief  of the pending disaster, as his sister gleefully tries to help.  Sometimes it’s a matter of conquest as a little girl aggressively and with conviction determines she WILL eat this huge slice of watermelon.  Sometimes it’s more complicated when we try to communicate with an unseen individual or group . . . .

Now and then we find ourselves the subject of emotional reaction to our words; while I write better than I converse, I wish sometimes communication relied less on our digital world and more on real “face time”.   Our eyes and ears are able to interpret an actual moment truthfully, when we are present in the moment, so much more than our imagination can recreate through written word.  There are a number of clichés to support that line of thought!

I miss the reality of human interaction; that sweet intonation in the voice of my loved one or friend that a text message just can’t deliver.  I miss the excitement of finding the phone in time to hear my mom or my sibling’s voice on the other end just checking in to see how my day has gone.  However, having said all that, I am grateful for caller ID (she says with a bit of a smile and a wink).  Enough said about caller ID.

My watermelon!

Don’t even think about it!

I especially miss seeing the expressions of delight, joy, excitement, genuine love, understanding, misunderstanding, gratitude, compassion, tenderness, sadness, realization, and most of all hope in the eyes and body language of our conversation partners.

Being present to bid “Farewell To Mahlon Kline” is one such moment I’m thankful to have had.  It was a moment in my great uncle’s journey to his forever home; an important moment in my personal growth and spiritual life.  The events of that week (while sad and wrapped in emotion on many levels) were key in reminding me of my own journey in life.

We had two family members at deaths door at the same time, in rooms on opposite wings of the same hospital.  Neither would make it back to their ordinary life, both were surrounded by family, friends and loved ones who knew this would be their last time together.

This was not a family that placed importance in being alone right now; that would come later.  At this moment Uncle Mahlon’s wife, Aunt Mae, sweetly welcomed anyone who came to their side be they friend or family and she often said she’d never met a stranger.  His room was bright with sun shining across the faces of his children and grandchildren; most of them grown.

There were stories of earlier years when his now eighty-some year old body would laugh and play and fish and camp with them.  There were memories of silly things shared and precious moments like births, high school and college graduations, military service and the like were praised and remembered.  I recall standing along the wall at the foot of his bed, thinking how wonderful – the joy in this room – knowing his many years of struggling with his old tired body would soon be over and he would be in the presence of those who waited for him on the other side.

Many years have passed since my uncle went “home” and many of his family have gone “home” as well, but the memory remains sweetly in the scrapbook of my mind; rich with images words or texts could not capture.  Nevertheless, I will write in hopes that my words convey what my heart feels.

So, what then is an “epic post”?  That’s different for each of us, but if I have touched your heart . . . . . What do you miss?