Time is passing.
Time is passing and we all watch as one day is moving in and through and quietly, steadily, faithfully passing into the next. It’s not unusual to look up and know that we are witnessing the passing of time. Somehow (really, how did that happen?) we are already in the middle of May. I don’t know if it’s because we are now firmly in the computer-age when everything seems to be instantaneous…or if it’s because I know in my bones that I am getting older…or if it's something in the middle of that, but surely, truly, in fact time is passing. So quickly.
My Mom’s younger brother, Tom and his beautiful bride, Cynthia are here in Atlanta visiting this week. They generously make this trek from California most every year, “to keep track of how tall the boys are getting,” they say.
Their coming shifts our schedules. Cousin Erika, Claud and Bets and our families eat dinner together each night, to lean in. We share one another’s houses and share the cooking, and each night we sit around the table to share stories. Past stories and present stories. We catch up we each other. Our prayers of blessing before each meal, and many of the stories name the ones who are no longer with us around the table. Our prayers and stories name the ones who are living in other parts of the country. Our prayers and stories continually, over and over re-call and re-collect our family.
The picture taken here was from a night we went to the movies to watch a play. We got to see Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy. It was wonderfully done and wonderfully fun to be together to do that. We grabbed the moment and snuck off together to share that time.
Time is passing. In The Summer Day, Mary Oliver asks that question, “What will you do with this one wild and precious life?” and it’s true. We spend each hour of each day answering that question. Having lost both Mom and Dad, my heart knows well that i am living my life holding on and letting go.
My Uncle Tom holds the stories of our family. He can connect people with places and places with times and times with people. His hands so remind me of my grandfather’s and the love in his heart, so remind me of my mother’s. My Aunt Cynthia marks moments. She is one who cherishes times together. Her picture is under the word “hospitality” in the dictionary. They both so love their family – it matters to them that we all share a deep, rooted bond together. That is their living legacy for us all – and with each visit, we are reminded.
I love that they've known me my whole life and now are knowing the boys in the same way. I love that they're interested in me and my family. I love that we all carry the family story - different tellings of this story, that's for sure - and we are all carrying it.
Grab Each Moment. Grab This Moment. Seize this day. We won’t always have this luxury of time, these sharing of meals and prayers and stories. Time is surely passing. And for this one wild and precious time, we are together…and -- each time it happens -- I am forever thankful.
Working as a Hospice Chaplain, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.