I can’t be around forever.

In this post, I talked about driving back to Prince Albert late in the evening, arriving home from our vacation, and having to face the fact that my grandpa was dying in this city and that within weeks that city would no longer be our home. I’m not going to lie. I spent the last half hour of that car ride crying my little eyes out. Part of it was because Marc had put on one of my favourite albums: Fernando Ortega‘s Shadow of Your Wings. We wake up to this album every morning. It is so beautiful and gives me a little bit of peace every time I listen to it.

But that night, this song came on, and all I could think of was my granny and grandpa. (The words that grandpa spoke to me the next day — “I can’t be around forever” — made it even more poignant.)

I think of my grandpa every time I listen to that song now. Part of it is because of all of the nature imagery — grandpa was an amazing gardener and that was his passion. But the other part is the words like “withers and fades away”, “shrivels in the sun and falls”. I think of how strength and vitality and youth stayed with him for years longer than most people. (He’d play frisbee with my kids when I was too tired to!) But he still faded away.

We look at our lives as though we are invincible sometimes. Like our intelligence or determination or physical strength can keep us and sustain us. But those things, as the song says, are like grass blowing in the wind, delicate flowers whose petals so easily shrivel and fall.

And I’ll be honest with you. It makes me incredibly sad. It makes me sad to think about a man who lived about as good a life as a man could live — so full of generosity, vitality, and grace. It made me sad to physically see him wither and fall, as all do in old age. But how even more heartbreaking for someone to lose their life in their youth, without even the chance to go through the natural progression of life. I guess it all feels hopeless in the end.

But.

(Go to 1:05 if you haven’t been listening to the song the whole time already.)

But the Word of the Lord endures forever.

In the end, we are all small and fragile and broken and dying. But the Word of the Lord endures forever. I don’t think that statement takes away the sadness that comes with the withering and the shriveling and falling. I don’t think that if you just “believed enough” in the forever-ness of the Word, that you suddenly feel no sadness. But I believe that you find a deep, indescribable comfort in the midst of the sadness when you allow that truth to sink in: The Word of the Lord endures forever.

Posted in Faith, Family, Life & Faith | 5 Comments

5 Responses to I can’t be around forever.

  1. And that is what I am describing with the word, recompense.

  2. Jean says:

    Love the song, Dixie. Lots of meaning and lots to think about.

  3. Sharon Kent says:

    Beautiful.

    Your grandpa had it figured out. We must not only learn how to LIVE life well but we must also learn how to face death and dying well. Difficult lessons we are learning right up to our last breath.

    I remember Tom Dice in his last days at home ,where the Word showed its endurance…all around him was failing – his mind and body, but he would repeat Jesus words: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” It was like God was showing him his comfort through those enduring words.

    May peace by yours today, Dixie. Missing you……

  4. U Dave says:

    Very beautiful, Dixie. ! Thank you.

  5. uncle doug says:

    Dixie: I think of you often when reading my moms old letters and cards, pics of my dads vegetable and flower gardens, and the many pics of their lovely home. I can only imagine how you as a child felt while spending time on the couch at the coffee table with your grama. perhaps she was cutting out articles for a special letter she was getting ready to send, or perhaps playing a game with you. I can hear her say, as dad comes in the house, “frank, come and play a game with dixie and I”. Or she might say, “please plug in the kettle so we can make some hot chocolate”. Wasn’t their home so inviting, and wern’t the huddles special when we left. I still tear up when I play the George Younce memorial video. It is the last one I watched with Mom and Dad together. I better go. Never forget Romans 8:28, and Moms green ink. Always and All Ways Dixie. You have a great heritage.

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