The house is quiet again and i am having my second cup of coffee. I embrace the solitude. Never mind the occasional whining of the neighbor’s toddler and her mother’s loud reprimand.
I am bent on savoring the stillness inside my home.
Lately i have found myself craving for more of these moments. Could it be middle age? I am going to be forty next year. But i have always been a solitary person. I am happiest at home, away from the crowd and safe from the noise. It is where i can unlock the reservoir that is my heart and put those feelings into words. It is where i take out one by one the thoughts that have been piled in the many compartments of my mind.
Today is one of those days when i have to open my reservoir.
On life and death
Last month, a co-parent of ours at our daughter’s preschool passed away. She was forty one. It was a sudden death. She was the picture of perfect health and there were no telltale signs that she would be moving on ahead of us. A month before her passing, we chanced upon each other and happily shared stories of our motherhood journey, about how we are embarking on a new chapter as we help usher our daughters into adolescence and about how there is nothing more fulfilling and rewarding than being a wife and a mom.
We were not that close, but her death affected me in so many ways.
“Death comes like a thief in the night”. (1 Thessalonians 5:2)
I began to think about my life and how i have been living it. We were on the same journey and i couldn’t help but imagine how will it be like for my own family if i leave them suddenly without a warning. I see a picture and i quickly blot it out . It is unbearable. There are no words to describe the grief.
Death leaves you feeling lost and empty but it also makes you want to embrace life even more.
Since her passing i have found myself in the habit of reflecting about my days constantly. My quiet times allow me to check my heart and deal with issues that are preventing me from from living the life that God wants me to. I no longer reserve any space for pride. I have began to find it easier to accept my shortcomings and apologize for them. Being right doesn’t matter anymore if it means hurting the people i love. It is like i am making sure that i leave nothing unsaid and undone even before my time is up.
On the day of her death, i wrote God a letter in my journal. I thanked Him for my life and for everyone and everything that He has placed in it. I told Him how much i am grateful for everything that He has done for me and about how sorry i am for all my sins. I expressed my desire to serve Him even more as i wait expectantly for more of His breakthroughs upon my life. Lastly, i asked Him not to take me just yet. But if He does, i hope that He will allow me to prepare myself and my family.
But since i will never know when my life will come to an end, the best preparation i can make is to live each day as if it is my last.
She lived her days like this. Looking back, i remember snippets of conversations with her over the years. Her decision to devote more time to her marriage and family despite a very promising career, the way she has humbly accepted her role as a wife and how she pursued to know God more by studying and immersing herself in her journey of faith. After her death, i began to piece all of these together and there emerged a clear picture: She was preparing herself for God.
But even as He takes what is rightfully His, He gives us opportunities to make ourselves ready. It is just up to us to obey or to ignore. She chose to obey and i believe that she met God with open arms.
At her wake, another co-parent and i talked about this and if there is an intuition or a sign that would somehow let us know that our time is almost up. In an attempt to liven up the somber mood, i wondered aloud whether a person’s changed ways is a sign that her life is about to end. “Kapag ba bumabait na ako, ibig sabihin malapit na akong kunin ni Lord? Huwag muna kaya ako magpakabait para hindi muna niya ako kunin”. ( “If i find myself being kinder, does it mean that God is about to take me back already? Maybe i should continue with my wicked ways so He won’t take me yet”). We both laughed at this but i know that deep down, the joke has struck a cord.
I think about this everyday.
Last Sunday after ministering to my daughter on the subject of Lordship, i told her that more than anything else, i am doing it to prepare her. It is not an act that i do to impress people or to make her look up to me. I am doing it so that on the day that i come face to face with God and He asks me what have i done for Him, i will have a truthful answer. That i was able to live my life according to His will.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”( Psalm 90:12)