Tuesday, May 16, 2006

THIS IS IT? TIME WRITTEN: August 2004

March of 2004 came in for me as the agent of change.  It was full of hard, unforgiving edges and sharp feelings with unfamiliar hues.  March was horrendous.  March was like a fierce, overpowering warrior.  March is passed now, but it was the worst month of my entire life.  March was the month I should have died.

Duly marked on my calendar, I knew March was the time.  It was a new calendar, for it was the beginning of a new year, the year 2004, and I had a dear friend to bury.  Carol.  I knew her for so long, and far better than her family, so I was chosen to lead the mourners in our catholic rituals of adorning the body then burying it, almost too sad.  Why did she die in January?  It's the start of things, didn't she know that?  Comfort never really came for me, as I had to stand firm and strong for her family.  They expected it, and I do as I'm expected.

On the day of her wake, I was wallowing in the depths of my soul.  I couldn't quite prepare myself, and kept dropping things.  The January cold was biting and mean as I opened the window to clear my head.  That's when my new calendar blew off my desk and onto the floor, opening to the month of March.   I reached to pick it up, and with a firm grip, watched open-mouthed as it fell from my hands, dropping again to the floor.  Then I noted with a wry pessimism that the month was, once again, March.  I was losing my grip.

At the wake I was somber, while still managing to be helpful and courteous.  When everyone had finally left and my task of chief mourner was through, I stood alone with Carol by her casket, gazing at her too-perfect face courtesy of the mortician's skilled hand.  It didn't seem as though anything would ever look alive to me again.  I asked Carol for a sign, in keeping with our long-held agreement that whichever of us died first, the other would send some important message from the Great Beyond.  We never doubted we could do it, so as I looked upon her too-still visage I got the message, clear and ringing like a bell at Easter.  She was with her beloved William, her husband, who died 20 years earlier and far too soon.  All she wanted was to be reunited with him, and now she was.  Carol never saw much use in the joys life offered after Billy died.  She couldn't see humanity as a gift anymore.  All she wanted was her husband back, who she met when they were children.  And now they were together.  She told me so and I believed her.

Back out in the dark January chill I got into my car and slowly drove home, pensive, waiting for my true chance to mourn.  I was still thinking of that calendar, how it had fell open to March not once but twice, for no reason I could fathom.  Soon I was pulling into my driveway, when suddenly I heard someone calling me.  Not in words, mind you, but a feeling of words being spoken, in my brain.  I'm in mourning, I thought, I'm not pulled together yet.  But the words were there, as clear as Carol's post-mortem message to me:  I would die in March, it was time to prepare.  Prepare!  I suddenly realized what was happening.  Although I had only 3 months to live, God was allowing me time to get my affairs in order, to set things right wherever they were wrong.  I locked the car, went inside and tried to make sense of this.  Soon, exhaustion overtook me and I fell onto my bed into a deep, dark, dreamless sleep.

The first thing I noticed was the thin powder of snow which fell during the night.  Then the previous happenings came pouring into my consciousness like ice cold water.  Rushing to call my brother Christopher, I then dressed and drove to his place.  With as serious a face as I could muster, I told him the basics of the previous night, that I was to die in March, and asked if he'd be the Executor of my Will.  This involved a tidy commision, I reminded him, almost $1,200.00, in addition to the bequests I already planned to make.  Still he looked hesitant.  When I told him all he need do was sign a single affidavit while I adjusted my Will, he made agreeing sounds and we chatted about Carol over his usual terribly brewed coffee.  Soon, however, I had to leave, telling him there was much to do and I was on a schedule.  He smiled.  Christopher always smiled when he thought I misplaced my sanity.  Never a criticism, only a smile.  So I left.

As January flew by, then most of February, I was almost completely prepared for my coming death, however it would manifest itself.  I noted with disdain that Chris had never signed the affidavit I asked, and as I type this now in August of 2004, he has yet to bother with it.  So he didn't believe I was going to die.  What could he know that I didn't?  What does he still know?

Well, I obviously didn't die 5 months ago, but it taught me something about myself.  I was completely unprepared for tomorrow, for what could happen at any moment.  Even people with terminal illnesses don't know the exact time of their death, which should cause someone like me, a perfectly healthy human being, to rush into a state of panic because of my unreadiness.  I thought I was unready because my Will wasn't done.  I thought I was unready because my house wasn't in order.  I thought I wasn't ready because I hadn't yet said my personal goodbyes.  "Oh what fools we mortals be...."  For I've come to a superb knowledge:

I wasn't ready to die because I hadn't yet talked to God.  I hadn't thanked Him over and over for giving me a soul and bringing life to it, and a body to animate it.  Why was my Creator the one thing I hadn't realized needed attention?

Well, I'm over it now and happy to be alive each day I am.  My dreams have returned, soft and lively.  Everyone who crosses my path gets direct eye contact with a smilling, daring "hello!" and as I sense their stares as I continue on my way, I whisper softly, "Thank you, Carol, I got your real message, loud and clear.  God will never find me unprepared for Him again."  

I still hate March, though.     Cathy S. August, 2004 

 

 

7 comments:

sugarsweet056 said...

Well written entry! :)
So true, no one knows! The time, the second, is given to God alone, as it should be...for He is our Creator.
Those who take their own lives, for what ever purpose are cheating life & God. My younger son commited suicide in 2004, I will never come to terms with his passing. :(
Blessings,
SUGAR

siennastarr said...

Wow, Cathy.. your journal does make one think.. that's for sure.
Thank you for stopping by my journal and leaving a comment or two.. I appreciate it.  I think I like it over here at yours.. because you write so deep from your heart, that it does make a person think, while reading it.  I like that.

I've put you on alerts and I will return! :)

Glad you made it through March, and that you make it through many more!

Jackie

treesrgreen78 said...

It is May, 2006 now and I thank our Lord for bringing you through to this day, in my heart I always knew you were one of the special people in life I was to meet, albeit by the internet but still over the past two years or more, you have brought me much laughter and joy and sharing of each others journey in life.  Last week you introduced me to your journals and in these journals I saw a brilliant mind, a person with such introspective greatness and most of all someone that bears her soul and writes with such passion and clarity that you make me feel like i am living these times right there with you.  I did not know u that March of 2004 but shortly thereafter we did meet on here.  We never know when our time is finished here on earth or when God will call us home.  For me I am so greatful he has kept you here so I got to know my dear friend Luddie.   Keep writing your beautiful journals and poems.  It is a privilege and honour to read them and share in your life.  Most importantly, it is so very heartening to have you as a dear friend, my forever friend.  Thank you Lord for Luddie.

lurkynat said...

wow I'm happy that you survived but I'm sad to elarn that you lost a dear friend
love,nat

luddie343 said...

One big THANK YOU!! to all those commenting on this entry.  It's a story of something very close to my heart, personal and precious, from which I olearned a hard life's lesson.

thegirlnexdoor77 said...

Just stopping in to take a peak...Enjoyed reading your entry...Glad that you made it through March....Hugs to you...Congrats on making the guest editors list...I can see why she chose you...TerryAnn

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