Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Alpha and Omega



I mentioned to one of my mother's life long friends that I was going to three funerals and two weddings all within a few days of each other this past week and a half. I said something about the beginnings and ends of happenings in our lives. He jokingly said that he wasn't sure which, (the weddings or the funerals) were which. We both laughed at his joke. I mean these 3 funerals were of his friends, as well, and he was able to see humor in my comment.
Later, I started thinking about what he had said, and I realized that he probably wasn't really, deep-down joking. He was probably being serious.
Yes, death is an end, but is it really? Death is the end to the life that we know on Earth, but I believe it is the beginning of an eternal life that is much better than the one here.
Death is a time when our loved ones come together to celebrate our life. To remember our contributions to our families, friends, communities, etc.... These funerals that I attended really made me think about what, if any, impact my life has had, is having, and will have on those around me. Will anyone remember me for being special to them in some way, or will I just be the person who was their 6th grade teacher, that lady who sang in the choir, that woman who sewed alot, etc.....? I think we all have a calling. I believe that God created each of us to do something with the talents and intelligence and personalities He has given us. I think most of us have trouble figuring out exactly what that calling is. I need to do some soul searching.
Please don't be offended if your beliefs are different from mine. Many people have different beliefs from mine, and that is ok, because I don't claim to know it all or have all the answers. Actually, I don't know much and have very few answers. I respect everyone's beliefs and differences. I don't tolerate them; that would mean that I didn't respect them, but that I just gritted my teeth and pretended that they didn't exist. I truly think that each person has a right to his or her own belief foundation.
And, weddings, well, yes, they are beginnings. They are beautiful beginnings. The most beautiful beginning in my opinion is the beginning of family. Whether or not a couple has children, they are joining another family and encircling themselves with new sisters, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, and if they choose, children of their own. My DH and I started our life together 36 1/2 years ago. We were very fortunate to be surrounded by loving families. We were most fortunate and blessed to have three beautiful, smart, sweet daughters. They have further blessed us with three fantastic SILs. One of our DDs and her husband celebrated 11 years together back in May and have given us three precious grandchildren. Another DD and SIL celebrated their 4th a few days ago and have given us another adorable grandchild. Our youngest DD and her DH will celebrate their 4th in a few months, and they, too, have blessed us with a sweet grandchild. These have been glorious beginnings. Marriage is a beginning to many wonderful events in our lives.
However, a marriage is also an end to many things. It is an end to singleness. It is an end to being dependent on parents for some. It is an end to loneliness for some. It is an end to not having a shoulder to lean on when needed, or not having someone with whom to celebrate life's wonderful moments. Marriage can be seen as the end of independence. It could be the end of happiness for some. I know that many marriages aren't happy and should have never been, my parents' for example, but then I wouldn't be here, hum..? I pray that each person who enters marriage can have a happy and blissful life. This would be a little naive of me, however. Marriage isn't all easy, and if anyone ever tells you it is that person is not telling the truth or his/her head is in the clouds. I also pray that those who haven't found marriage to be what it is meant to be, will find the inner strength to go on to find happiness. Boy, I did not mean to get this deep into these subjects, but here it is.
Now, to go put some more thought into all of this rambling.
Thanks to those of you who give well wishes to my Mother. She seems a little better today. We seem to be on a roller coaster ride. I have never liked roller coasters!

9 comments:

Cindy said...

What a perfect post for a Sunday to end a wonderful weekend.
So, the first thing that came to mind while reading it - it's not about death, it's about life and your personal choice how you want to live it. We shouldn't think about what others think about us when we die, we should only think about our own precious gift and leaving knowing we enjoyed each and every moment of it - doing what is right for oneself - knowing we have learned our lessons being taught to us to have a wonderful loving lifetime.
Sometimes for many people there aren't many happy moments or it's hard to make them happy - a lot of times in marriage for many people which I think what your friend was talking about...
Now..here's your Sunday ((hugs))
Be good to yourself..for yourself!

Trudy Callan said...

Funerals and weddings are a time of reflection. It's a time to check our priorities: are we living our life for God, living out our calling, are we making a difference in the lives of those around us? Do we appreciate and express that appreciation to our loved ones and friends? Are we being intentional with our time and our relationships.

Your mother was so blessed to have given birth to you because look how you are there for her now. Your reward will be in heaven.

You are a blessing to many, even those you don't really know, like Emily and I. You have many friends that care about you, even those you didn't realize were your friends. Seems kind of weird that that could happen through the internet, through blogging. But you have reached out to others; you have been real; you have been an encouragement. You have been an example to us. Thank you for being you, for being who God made you to be. Your children are blessed to have you for a mom.

Rachel said...

Julia,
What a beautiful post. I am a born again Christian and it made me think of this passage of scripture:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Serena said...

I've had so many thoughts like this lately. We've faced some losses of friends and loved ones. It definitely leaves me thinking hard on what kind of life I want to live and who I want to be to others. Just realize that even just by blogging you can be adding a lot to the world in a little way. I know I often have hard days, days stuck home with my daughter, unable to get out of the house because my husband is two hours away at work with our car, and those comments and emails really mean something. i think everyone should reshape, refashion, and reflect on their lives until they find themselves satisfied! It's never too late to start and make yourself into who you want to be.

gwensews said...

Beautiful post. Our pastor's sermon yesterday was about death. Life is an intersting journey. We should live it to it's fullest every day. Hope mom's health continues to get better.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

A beautifully written post....So poignant!

Christy Sews said...

Amen and amen again. I have come to believe that funerals are for the living because they are a time that we come together in celebration of another's life. Weddings as well. I agree that marriage is an end to many things and a beginning of others. It also gives you so many ideas of what you can do with duct tape -- duct tape hubby's mouth closed? Tape him to the bed while he sleeps so I can sew without interruption??? I have, over the years, come to see sewing as a gift. The ability to understand the instructions; take that flat piece of cloth and a picture and bring it into being as a 3-dimensional usable piece of art. I repeat to myself often: there are many gifts of the Spirit but only one Spirit. I do my best not to bury my talents, but instead invest them to make them grow and then share them with others. I decided a long time ago that I did not want my legacy to be that "she worked really hard at her job", but instead "Believer", "acknowledged Sinner", "friend", "sharer of God-given gifts and talents (no matter how insignifigant they seem)". Sometimes being all we can be simply means visiting your sick mother, answering the phone to listen to a hurting friend, holding the door open so that someone else can come in out of the rain. Just my thoughts.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Julia, thanks so much for this pensive post. How beautifully you have expressed it.

TattingChic said...

What a deep and thought provoking post. Beautiful!

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