Sunday, December 7, 2008

Better do today what you want to put off until tomorrow

You know, my head is bursting with ideas. Now, I am not going to pretend that they spring from some creative fountain deep inside, but they are snippets from magazines, TV, internet, friends, and real life churning through my head like a subliminal slide show. I am the first to admit they are a little grandiose and if I thought logically, instead of emotionally all the time, I would realize that sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. Like my brother's surprise for his 50th birthday. I was going to make him a scrapbook of his entire life, prefaced by a genealogy, pictures and anecdotal blurbs about family members. I started with gusto, the pages filled, all six of them, the birthday came, the birthday went, and now my goal is to present it to him on his 60th. I had similar success with my grandson’s, his book is complete to his christening at six weeks. He turned six this summer. Yea, there are quite a few, like my great idea to have everyone sign the holiday tablecloth, and then I would embroider their signatures, capturing them forever. They signed, I stitched, but am about three years behind on that project. Also, the book my daughter presented me when she gave birth to my first grandchild, the one where you write all your memories and history to preserve for your grandchildren. I just can’t seem to find the right pen, plus, should I print, or script? These are big decisions when you are creating a heirloom. Don’t even ask me about the 3,000 pictures I have on my computer that I am going to organize into categories, and print out into booklets. Let’s not go there, okay? I have often said if I could eliminate work and sleep, I could get all my projects done. But recently, I learned a real lesson that taught me, just do it, and get it over with! I had read a lot about prayer shawls that some churches were doing to comfort people facing major illness. My church doesn’t do them, my son’s church does. I thought what a great idea, I want to do that, but never took the next step to join an organized group. Then my dear cousin, Tim, was given horrible news. Lung cancer that had spread. This was about two years ago, and I thought, wow, wouldn’t a prayer shawl be nice. Of course, it would, and after all that thinking, it would be nice, I finally bought the yarn, but there it sat, I worked it a little, put it aside. I felt guilty for not being part of a prayer group, and doing it on my own. I researched that to see if it were as effective. These things take time, you know. It should have taken a weekend, it took months. One weekend, I just got a burst and finished it. I mailed it off to him and late on a Monday he called. He wanted to tell me that he had gotten awful news. All treatment was suspended, the cancer had spread into his bones. The pain in his shoulder that he was suffering with was because his shoulder had disintegrated, laced with cancer. There was really nothing more that they could do. But he had received the shawl, and he loved it, he immediately wrapped it around him, he loved the softness of it, he said it made him feel better. I told him, when you wrap it around you, I hope you can feel all my love and prayers and the hope that went into making it. A few days later, he collapsed and went to the hospital. The shawl went with him. His wife said it made him feel better, he said it made his shoulder not hurt so much. It never left him. He lapsed into a coma, and was taken home by hospice. Never waking up, he died the next day. One week after getting the shawl that was two years in the making. His sister said to me the day he died, “ I thought there was more time, I guess I have learned not to delay, not to put things off.” She is right, as it seems that life is speeding away like a runaway train and I am holding on for dear life, hoping to make it around the next bend. They say life is what happens when you are busy making plans. Life - like Aunt Edna always used to say, "nobody gets out alive." Guess I better try to change my mantra from I’m gonna to I did, it’s going to be hard, but I think it is time to start being a verb and not a noun.

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