Never show your weapon until you're fully prepared to use it; then don't stop using it til you're done.
Thank God we had a relatively quiet, simple, and fairly joyful Christmas morning with the family. With each passing year, but particularly with hindsight on '14, I am increasingly grateful for the times we spend together.
This season, without exception, has been rife with revelation.
Again, it's as I look back that I can see how this was coming on. What seemed like an ordinary cough, what seemed like my usual tired finally revealed itself to be an actual case of pneumonia. Within hours of the family traveling on after breakfast, I developed such an acute pain in my chest that I couldn't hold a glass of water.
Hindsight. Thank You, God, for getting me through Christmas.
But I'm not really here to tell you about my ailment, except that this has been one of the weirdest spans of time I've known.
And I wasn't the only one ailing during this span. My youngest g'babe had respiratory syncytial virus, not always awful, but often enough. My oldest g'babe had the actual flu. My daughter continued to languish in the deep thick of addiction and mental misery, so much that I can say no more than that for the triggering affects ... hers, mine, possibly yours ...
And I really was so sick ~ not like cold or flu or even what I thought would be pneumonia sick. I was just more out of it, exhausted, done kind of sick.
(This is fixin' to be some really depressing ___ for a minute, but I've found no other way to share all of this. Commit or get off here, I reckon.)
There was some point in the midst of all of this at which I was overcome by a certain sense and an urge to scribble some things down, but like everything else including my worries, I was just too tired to lift any of it up. There was some quality of the light in the room on this particular evening that invoked passage and I began my review. Was I done?
(Sorry, folks. I told you.)
I'm really not meaning to be dramatic, as I know that certain of my offspring would claim.
(Okay, maybe it's a tad dramatic, but I promise I've dumbed this down as much as possible. It is what it is and still the truth.)
And the plain truth is:
I was wondering:
were any one of us to go within those moments:
had I said all that I'd needed to say?
We never know, any of us, when our time will come to leave this place. I think that most of us, while we know not to take our time for granted, we're not as practiced at the practice of not actually taking it for granted.
So time's come now to hammer down. The thing I'm trying to say is that I've spent some time wondering... if I were to go or if any of you were to go, would I be leaving anything unsaid?
And I've concluded that whenever my time should come ~ or yours ~ I do hope we both know that I have, in fact, used my weapon til the very end. I will have, in fact, completed my work.
See, it was my daddy who taught me about the use of weapons, and he, being so expert, so adept with guns and such, was loath to commit actual violence ... but words. Oh, to use our words.
I don't always say the right things, but God help me, I've tried, and I'll try right up til the end. Just like Daddy taught me.
Dear God, may the words that come out of my mouth serve the purpose you have assigned to me. (And God help us all when I get it wrong.)