I have a small window of time to write. These past days have been chaotic beyond words. We got the ‘dreaded’ early morning call last Thursday–the end was near for my mother-in-law. A flurry and Sherod was off, headed back to Selma. The next 5 days got worse and worse, in some respects. What some of the doctors saw as the beginning of ‘active dying’ was not. Instead we are now faced with a harder situation. Something has happened and Juanita is lost in deep dementia. She is in the hospital right now because when it seemed that the end was near, she ended up on a morphine drip. Sherod and his sister now face all the planning and preparations to place her in a nursing home–totally new set of plans with insurance companies, doctors, caretakers, etc. We are disgraceful these days, with our continuum of care for the very old and dying.
The ministry I serve continues to push me further and further into unknown and uncharted territory. I am doing a fair amount of looking back, identifying moments in the ministry where there were several more decisions that “coulda-shoulda” been considered and taken. This is not about engaging in a pity party of useless regrets. Rather, having found some new ways to understand how I serve and contribute to the health and wholeness of a community of faith, I am going back to mine what I can about moments that passed me by. By the grace of God, that may help me serve more effectively and faithfully as I move forward.
I am also making the final plans and preparations because I am going on the 30-day retreat. This is hard on the whole system I am a part of. I am fighting all kinds of little voices in my head that call me irresponsible and self-centered. But way down deep, I remain convinced that I am most able to do the work of transitioning out of this ministry, whenever that happens, and preparing for whatever comes next, having taken this time to spend in the company of my Maker in ways I am not able to otherwise.
Life goes on…