As we were leaving church this weekend, the staff was preparing for an afternoon funeral. My curious children started asking all sorts of questions about Heaven and when we’d be going. At the same moment, my husband and I proceed to go two completely different directions with our answers. Wade has always been in tune with his mortality, stating, “Well, everybody just needs to live ready [to die].”
I like to think my approach is much more palatable, “Let’s not think about that, kids. Say, who wants ice cream?”
As we pull out of Dairy Queen, lingering questions of death forgotten to frozen sweetness, we pass one of our town’s larger cemeteries. Sometimes, if I would close my eyes, I don’t think I’d know if it was Wade speaking or Duck Commander creator Phil Robertson. “Sure are a lot of dead people ‘round here.”
He winks at me, and I squirm in my heated seat, shoveling in another bite of Blizzard.
It seems like the only inevitable part of life is always forgotten until the starkest and most shattering reminders. The untimely death of basketball star Kobe Bryant shook our nation. Last week’s Daytona 500 had America in another standstill, wondering, hoping, praying for wrecked racer Ryan Newman. This winter has been particularly plagued by illness and hard times for our elderly neighbors.
I love to plan, to pencil-in, to look ahead…but nothing is certain no matter how many calendars I keep. I know this. My faith even reminds me, as Wade puts it, “to live ready.” So, forgive me for sounding like my four-year-old or a Tim McGraw song, but if the only inevitable part of life is death, why don’t we live like we were dying?
As an emergency department nurse, I had the honor of standing beside too many people ending their life journey. As I would hold their hand or their loved ones’, my mind always wandered. What would they have done with one more day?
Each day is full of its own blessings, but this week happens to have an extra one: Leap Day. We’re being gifted an extra day this year (so long as Earth keeps spinning, right?). How will you spend it? Might I propose an evaluation of what it means to be ready for the inevitable, and a heart open to all of His bountiful blessings… celebrations, children, ice cream, funny spouses, sporting events… the list goes on and on. Enjoy this life, my friends.
Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter, and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. Her first novel, The Bird and the Bees, is a Christian contemporary romance set to be released in April 2020. Visit her at wordslikehoney.com.