Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oversize Load


Driving North – knowing the purpose was to deal with a lot of emotion, memories of my brother in his death and to find a was to celebrate his earthly life….I carried an Oversize Load. I felt like seeing that truck, summarized the burden on my heart. Through the days that followed, many opportunities presented themselves to delve into that “Oversize Load.” At first, to get to the bottom of a big job, you have to dig hard and it feels like you are only going down, down down only to get to the point you can go back up. The climb back up has been strenuous and I’m not sure I’m even at the top, but along the way the Oversize Load has started to show the light at the top. But oh, the ache.

I’ve cried tears daily as the memories flood my mind and soul in grief. My face and eyes have hurt from the wiping of the tears, only to have more come and come with a lack of being able to keep my eyes and face dry. Standing at the gravesite in cold Canadian air, feeling the sting of those tears once again, shaken to the core when the casket was lowered, watching my sister-in-law in her grief and aware of her loneliness made me cry out to God again, wondering if this is what Jesus in his humanness felt when he asked “My God, why have thou forsaken me?” I knew it was only his body and his soul was long rejoicing in heaven, but it was so final. It was so hard.

Helen summarized the memorial sharing portion and funeral well at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimschapanskyvery well so if you want to read that, it is a good source.

In closing I now sit in a hotel in a snow storm somewhere in South Dakota, we’ll return home tomorrow if traveling is good and I know we’ll jump head long into “life” again with the schedule of four children, church and activities. So this time for this journey of saying goodbye feels like it is ending – but it isn’t, as a day won’t go by that I won’t reflect on my brothers’s life and testimony. I feel changed, but I’m not sure how this will manifest in my life right now….but want it to in some way.

I’ll leave you with The Dash – a poem by Linda Ellis that I read at the Sunday evening sharing in response to our focus in the imovie we made of Jim’s life zeroing in on his dash on a screen:

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone, from the beginning ... to the end.
He noted that first came his date of birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. (1960-2009)


For that dash represents all the time that he spent alive on earth... and now only those who loved him know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars...the house...the cash, what matters is how we live and love, and how we spend that dash.


So think about this long and hard... Are there things you'd like to change? For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.


And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more, and love the people in our lives, like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile... remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.


So, when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash... Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

2 comments:

beckymc said...

Val, there are no words that can soothe you at a time such as this. But know you and your family are in my prayers.

Dee said...

Thinking of you and praying peace for you and traveling mercies. How are the kids doing?

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