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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Time, the Gift of Eternity

~ photographer unknown to me ~
NEW NOTE: Are you familiar with the e-zine, Living Better at 50? If you're a mature woman, it's a fine read and for those "less mature", it's still a fine read. Carol D., Editor, very kindly accepted an article from me entitled Boundaries, Fences and Margins. Let me know what you think, leave a comment on the article, please and thanks.

The 1Wife to Widow blog has been updated with good information on how to prepare yourself, financially, in the event of a spouse's death.

Lately, I've had the opportunity to re-examine my attitude and then change my attitude. Oh yeah, it was a hard won fight and, while I'm sure to lose a battle here and there, the war has been won; now it's only details. Most days I spend anywhere from eight to fourteen hours working on Dave's estate, going through paperwork, finding out about Virginia's "lost property", sending thank you notes to folks who have been kind and then there's the house work, farm work, tending to the animals, studio work, the selling of fleeces and finished goods, this blog, the Wife to Widow blog, my other blogs...the list, seemingly, never ends and I'm always extremely behind. You know the old saying, I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place! Well, I'm so far behind I keep getting sunrise confused with sunset and there's no end in sight. 

The way I've changed my attitude is to change the way I look what I'm doing. All of this is my job; it's how I'm earning my living, making my life, paying my bills, keeping the farm and, mostly, my sanity. I'm trying to stay focused on what I need to do to do the above; doing this is keeping me from putting in job applications at big box stores and Bless God and Dave for that gift!
 ~ a long and winding road ~
Miz Bernice, now in her 70's, recently told me, "I lost my husband when I was 47 and I learned in order to get through it, I had to keep busy. So, you must keep busy too." And, that's what the women in my family have always done...keep busy. Most of them kept early mornings and late nights and lived their pain through their work. A lot of people in our family now have quilts to show for those days and nights of tears, when sleep was the enemy; now, I now find myself, when time allows, keeping my hands busy so my brain has a place to focus and my heart to rest.

Anyway, I was having yet another -wry grin- pity party...oops, sorry but I forgot to send out invitations so that's why you didn't know -grin-...and feeling totally overwhelmed, lonely, alone, unloved and usually hungry because I'm the special kind of stupid that, sometimes, a lot of times, forgets to eat. Then I started pondering on the problem, which, as you're now knowingly muttering, the problem was moi. Oh yeah, there's a lot to do and my to-do list grows at an alarming rate but my attitude was slowing me down.  I would find myself wandering around, listlessly, unfocused on the particulars, unable to see the big picture and panicked because of all the details, details, details. Knowing I need to contact this one or that one, explain why I've not been in touch, haven't done what I said I'd do, apologize, etc.

You see, that's the strange thing about grief. I tell someone I'll do thus and so and my intentions are so good but the grief is, too often, more real than my life and my intentions, and I find myself swimming in deep waters. Too often, I'm unable to keep up and let life slip around me, phone unplugged, gates locked and in the center, me, struggling with the memories, the loss, the loneliness until the body and mind are spent with emotions and I start all over again. As Heraclitus once said, "It is what it is." The older I get, the more path I trod on this grief journey, the more I understand: It is what it is
If you're not familiar with Heraclitus and, if you're interested in philosophy, visit a while with Heraclitus. He talked about change being the only constant with the example being, one cannot step into the same river twice. The river is always flowing thus always changing and so it is with life. No way do I understand everything he said but, that's okay, I'm in good company. "They say that Euripides gave Socrates a copy of Heraclitus' book and asked him what he thought of it. He replied: "What I understand is splendid; and I think what I don't understand is so too - but it would take a Delian diver to get to the bottom of it." (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Philosophers, II 22).

Stephanie, my Beloved Sistah, sent me the following:

"To realize
The value of a sister/brother
...and I add spouse, parent, friend, etc. ...
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby.

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

LOSE ONE.

The origin of this letter is unknown,

Remember....

Hold on tight to the ones you love!

Do not keep this letter, rather, 
send it to friends & family...ASAP."

Yes, I know this is but one day in this grief journey but it's a day of Grace and Mercy, a gift from God and, just for today, I will cherish this gift, this today and be thankful. In time, there will be more such days but today, I'm choosing to live deliberately and just for today, be thankful to God for His love gifts to me.

To each of us, God gives the same amount of time and each of us spend it wisely, foolishly, unthinking, with focus and intent on things that matter and things that have no value whatsoever. Some of us realize, and some of us have realization forced upon us, that time is the gift of eternity.

Read that again...time is the gift of eternity. How are you spending your second most precious gift?

Blessings ~ Stephanie, Beloved Sistah ~ time ~ eternity ~ work ~  Heraclitus ~ Miz Bernice ~ mercy ~ love ~ grace ~

19 comments:

  1. Amen, Sandra. We are all given the exact same gift of time. It is what we choose to do with it that matters.

    Some days it is all we can do to keep our heads above water. Other days we are helping others keep THEIR heads above water. We are called to bear one another's burdens...You are doing just that when you minister to others who have had a similar loss.

    I continue to pray, Sandra...

    In Christ alone,
    Cindy

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  2. Sandra~
    You and Cyn are some of my favorite people because of your lovely spirit! You both have gone thru hard times and still you encourage us and each other when we should be encouraging you!
    God bless you both, mightily!

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  3. Oh Sandra!
    That was such a lovely post. I could feel your emotions right through the computer screen.
    It sounds like you've decided to take up your sword and give grief a little challenge. Good for you. Courage and blessings!
    Grace

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  4. "To realize the value of a friend or family member:

    LOSE ONE."

    Oh, Sandra, that is so true!!!
    You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!

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  5. Whom ever wrote it . . . knows . . . profound reflection and one I will keep for always. . . thank you . . .

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  6. Oh, bittersweet... Thanks for sharing, and may God continue as your Healer and Comforter...

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  7. The sentiments expressed about loss are so true, and there is one at least for each of us.Magnified by even more loss. You are also praising God here, and that is the ultimate expression of loss, to praise God knowing He alone is in control and He alone can truly comfort us, though there are so many dark hours of grief it must at times seem not so.Again, prayers for you Sandra.(And don't forget to eat today!)

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  8. Sandra...Thank-you so much for this well spoken post, the poem and for sharing your inner most thoughts. It is truly a post that speaks to every heart and soul...for we have all lost loved ones. Thoughts and prayers go with you!

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  9. Sandra, My heart goes out to you. As a widow at age 48, I can tell you the journey to reclaim life is an ongoing process and truly I can say if it hadn't been for my faith pulling me through, God leading the way every day, I'd never, ever would have made it. Thank you for a lovely post.

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  10. oh sweet friend - yep - I didn't get YOUR invite to the pity party but I have my own so didn't feel left out! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us - it is a very good heart, stronger in the broken places but oh MY so good and so much to give.
    Bless you sister in Christ - will give my DH an extra dose of patience (how can a person be so lovable and irritating at the same time?!)thank goodness and God we get grace instead of justice!!

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  11. Sandra, thank you so much for these encouraging words. I have been a widow for awhile now. There are still times that are overwhelming. You are a gem and have so much inner strength, my thoughts are with you....

    Blessings,
    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  12. So beautifully, beautifully said! My feelings are the same, you have hit it on the head and grasped the true feeling of loss that we feel. God bless you. I pray wholeheartedly that our grief lessens and our function ability increases. Love n hugs Kerrie ♥

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  13. Sounds quite a bit like my own struggle with too much to do; my charging bear. I know all too well the terrifying loss of focus that kills productivity. Staying busy is superb advice.

    I had no idea that saying was Heraclites. I learned it while undergoing combat training with Army Drill Instructors, of all places. It holds such a simple lesson within those five short words, applicable to so many situations. I use it a lot these days.

    Awareness of how fleeting all this is - great reminder. Thank you.

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  14. I happy that you have a supportive and loving sibling to hold your hand through this Sandra. That's such a precious gift. :)

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  15. That is what I say all the time....hubby says that is my saying. I have been thinking about you. Enjoyed the article. There are some things I sure wish families would get back to...meals together especially. I hate that it takes us ladies so long to learn to say "no".

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  16. Very wise thoughts...I'm so glad to find your inspirational blog!

    Have a beautiful Sunday!

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  17. what a beautiful post...I learned so much from reading...I am glad I dropped by your page..."time indeed is the gift of eternity"...

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  18. Hello my friend--
    You've been so busy with your writings! I trying to catch up on everything! Your magazine feature is wonderful! I tried to leave a comment but not sure it went. Will try again later.
    I will visit your new blog also-- you are such an inspiration to so many people!
    Love you-
    Vicki

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  19. Sandra, I read this last weekend at the market but could not post a response. You are so spot on, and I also try to enjoy each moment. Yesterday I lost my Auntie yesterday to cancer, and I am at a loss, but I continue to enjoy each moment, each meal I prepare for and share with my parents. Thank you for such beautiful lessons. You are in my prayers daily.

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Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.