A funeral, A fight, A Prayer

What do you really really really think? What do you feel and notice? What is the true answer to the question ‘How are You?’…

Well for this morning, and for this blog in general, I intend to bring the Reality and put words on this screen, that are a level deeper, a level truer and more real, than you’re used to reading. But if you’re used to reading my blog… you already knew that 🙂

A thunderstorm and gentle soothing rain came last week, and lots of things in between.A transition, from this life to the next, for Nathalee (my grandmother). A fight. A funeral. Lots of things to notice and to learn from. Here are a few, in order of how I experienced them.

• Our mind is powerful enough to kill us, luckily. We discussed last week, the deep power of our thoughts and beliefs. I feel that Nathalee, through the decline in her health, believed that her world wasn’t what she really wanted anymore. She wanted to go home, and when she realized it probably wasn’t possible, she found a way. When we are truly ready to let go, ready to move on, we will. God bless you Nae, what a wonderful generous spirit. A laugh no one could forget. I miss you, and will see you again, to make a plate of holiday food and bring it to you. I hope I finally get it right someday 🙂

• There is a conflict in my life. Seems that some days it fades away, the sun shines and birds chirp. Some days it clouds over, and dulls any spark of a smile, before it begins. Some of my coach friends would point out, that these are chosen feelings, chosen thoughts, and there are ways to eliminate them. I believe that some days, and those days can be good. The conflict or the grief, or the cloud comes and goes. Luckily it does go.

• I’m a fighter. Always have been. Sometimes fight in my dreams. Sometimes awake. Last week was a doozie. Real honest-to-goodness brawl. Not physical, but just as emotionally draining and exhausting. What I learned was that there is refusal in me. Always has been. For some reason, I just don’t always go with the flow. I don’t have deep peaceful grace and forgiveness and the flexibility of a sapling to blow with the breeze. I fight it. I struggle against it. The lesson though is this: Words are meaningless. Words are birds here for a moment on the line, the next fluttered away. Words can create agreements between people, but actions are real truth. In action we break, or keep agreements. In our mind, words swirling, the storm rages. In action, we step in, we step out, we move, or we stay.

• My egg plate in the morning is gooey. I like them over-medium. If I finish breakfast, then rinse my plate, the yolk is easy to remove. Water, the world’s best solvent, (Thanks Dr. Cain) makes it a simple process to clean. If I wait however, the yellow gunk dries. It sticks hard and adheres. It’s much more difficult to get clean again. I have to scrub, and take more time. I wish I would have done it sooner, like right after breakfast… In this restaurant business, with lots of eggs being broken all the time, it’s easier to clean it up quickly. It’s not eggs I’m really speaking of here, it’s the conflicts in my day. The broken egg-reements (ha!) that need quick attention. Talking and then acting quickly after a conflict, is helping me all the time. Deal with it now. Deal with it fast. Do something small now, rather than something big later. Don’t wait. Make things clean while it’s as easy as it will ever be. Waiting only makes it harder.

• Obituaries are short. A quarter folded sheet of paper, may be all there is to explain and detail my life someday. As a writer, as a graphic designer, this appalls me. One little picture, one quarter of a page. You’ll hear about when I was born, who I married, what kids I had, who is living, who’s dead. That’s about it. Maybe a job thrown in if there’s room. Probably church membership, possibly a community organization. Nothing else.

• God’s world is a mess. A beautiful mess, however. Looking at the names of Nathalee’s grandchildren, and their spouses, and the group of us, sitting off to the side, at the funeral home, behind the curtain, we were a mess. Out of 6 grandchildren that Nae loved like her own, only 2 really were. Only a third of ‘us’ were your standard definition of grandchildren. Your kids’s kids. The rest were somebody else’s kids, and then step-kids. Through divorce, through death, through life. The family gathered to love and cry and honor Nathalee, were a real hodgepodge mess of folks. She loved us all the same. That’s special 🙂 I appreciated her, and didn’t even really see that truth, until right then.

• Context is everything. The context, the fabric, the boundaries and constants that I choose to hold in my life, my struggling relationship with God, is everything. It shapes the action. It flows the energy through me, through channels unknown. The context, the lens, through which I experience these pivotal moments (every moment) shows me what I see. Lord, allow my flexibility, and my forgiveness to flourish. Lord, let the wind blow away, the weak twigs of negativity and anger and pettiness. Lord, may your truth guide me, may your ways be my ways too. May this struggle, may this conflict, bear fruit in season, for You, for others, for my family, for me. This I pray, after the weeks in which you carried me through, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.


Aaron Nichols

3 thoughts on “A funeral, A fight, A Prayer

  1. Thank you for expressing your feelings that all of us feel one time or another,
    but hard to put into words.
    I think you are special that you verbalize at your age. I thought you had to be
    my age to have those feelings
    We send our love.

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