So the tough thing about NaBloPoMo (the movement to post a new blog every day during November), is coming up with new ideas. I was just chatting with my friend Michelle on FB about what I could blog about today. She said answer the question: If your life flashed before your eyes, what are 5 moments you know would be included?
This reminded me of my favorite episode of LOST: the one where Charlie comes up with a list of his “Greatest Hits” – the 5 greatest moments of his life.
I thought it was a great idea, so here’s what I’ve got (in no particular order):
1) In the summer of 1998, my Poppa was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. One night, we were out at my grandparents cottage and it was after supper. I took my walkman (pre-iPod days, people!) and was wading in the water barefoot as I listened to music (this was a favourite ritual of mine out at Lake Obonga). I turned, and saw my Poppa and his dog, Briggie, coming around the point at one end of the bay, heading back toward the cottage as they finished off their after-supper walk . I just stopped and watched. Bob Seger’s Roll Me Away was playing on my walkman and I knew to the depths of my soul that I would never see my Poppa like that again. 3 months later he succumbed to cancer.
2) For our 26th birthdays, my bestfriend and I took a trip to Europe together. On her birthday we were in Nice, France. We’d been at the beach most of the morning. We kept watching people parasailing. It looked like so much fun and we decided we had to try it. We were both scared and exhilarated. We decided to call our parents before we went up (you know, just in case things didn’t go well). There was a moment when we were floating above the Mediterranean, it felt like we could see all of Nice and everything was just perfect.
3) A few summers back, my brother and I were on vacation together, visiting our parents at their summer place, the farmhouse. We had this little dinner party with some friends and it was just the most wonderful meal. Afterwards Matt and I drove one of our friends back to his cottage. On the way back to the farmhouse, Matt asked me how things were going at the church I was serving at the time. I talked for a bit about a lot of exciting things that were going to be happening in the fall and what I was looking forward to. Then, very quietly, my brother said to me “You know, I’m proud of you, right?”
4) The moment I felt my call to the ministry – which is a long story, but the short version is: I was at the gym on the treadmill and listening to a cd on my discman (still, the days before I had an iPod!). One of the songs that I’ve heard a million times before had the lyrics “I’ve begged You for some proof for my Thomas eyes to see…but you know I’ve seen so much and I’ve explained it away.” And suddenly I knew that God had been calling me to the ministry for at least 5 years and I had been stubbornly plowing on with my fingers in my ears yelling “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you!” I tried to go back to NOT knowing that this was what God wanted me to do with my life…but I couldn’t un-know it, no matter how hard I tried. My life changed that day.
5) When I was a kid, my friend Margo was diagnosed with childhood lukemia. Chemotherapy was highly experimental in those days. One time, Margo was in the hospital in our little town of New Liskeard. Our parents explained to us that Margo was sick and even though we all felt healthy, we couldn’t go see her in the hospital because we might unknowingly pass on some germs. So instead, they suited us up in our snowsuits (after all, it was winter in the snow belt), and we walked around the outside of the hospital until we got to Margo’s room. We stood in the snow waving at her, and she waved back.
Because they couldn’t be condensed into one single moment, there are a few more things I have to mention, because I know they would flash before me, too:
-times spent with my parents: hugs, laughter, encouragement, faith conversations, shared meals. My folks are the best and I am blessed every time I get to spend time with them.
-times spent with Cameron, Nathan and Alexandria. These are my ‘adopted’ nephews and niece. They bring such joy to my life. I don’t have a ‘single moment’ memory with them – every time is special. Lots of hugs and silly games and conversations and even just holding them in my arms. They enrich my life in every way imaginable.
-times spent with my dog, Koski: she may only be 3 months old, but already she has brought me joy and companionship beyond compare. I love it when she looks at me and my heart breaks.
(Just so you know, that was a LOT harder than I thought it would be!)