Why our mistakes are so important to make….

I am sitting here finishing up this piece as I sit in hospice with my dying grandmother, who is more like my best friend than a grandparent.  Sweet Mary Lane had a massive heart attack on December 12th. If you ever want to put life into perspective in two seconds flat just walk into a hospice and stay a spell or two. You will feel your toes dangling on the edge of this broken world and leaning over the vast canyon of eternity. It’s a scary, yet heavenly view.

You know, I told Seth I really was having  a hard time coming up here to hospice because I hate seeing her look like this—a shell of who she was just one month ago, minus the polish on her nails which reminds me of her spunky, sassy, feminine self that  once was just 30 days ago. But as I was walking up to St. Thomas hospital almost dreading what she may look like today, her frail body fading into infinity I realized I was being selfish. Going to sit with her isn’t about me or me feeling uncomfortable with death’s blow; it’s about her. It’s about my grandmother, Mary Lane. Loving her when she doesn’t know or see that I am even there. Not for the praise or the admiration or even the validation—just for the sake of loving her if only with my presence.

As I sit in this medicinal room cossetted in this awkward, faded floral, very uncomfortable chair, staring out over a parking garage, I recognize here lies a women that has lived and loved; strong and steady, with a bold spirit and a tender heart.   She with Jesus’ grace and compassion has made her time count on this monotonous, yet glorious ride around the sun. Time teaches us so much if we allow it…each year brings more mistakes, which if embraced brings more wisdom. And here is a woman who was born in small town Mississippi in the 1930’s six weeks early and was fed through a goat dropper and slept in a drawer because she was so small. Seems she is a miracle herself.

And the only words I can seem to write are invisible ones she wrote on my life:

Time teaches…..

 

Time teaches you to live more fully, forgive more freely because you realize we all get lost in this maze called life. Some by unwise choice, others by unpredictable force.  Regardless, we all walk in circles during certain stages of life—searching, seeking, restlessly hoping there is a door that has been left open so that we might not have to find our way, but rather escape our circumstances. We grope for the next big moment that will numb our present circumstance because sometimes living through the mundane is harder than living thought the tragic or magical moments of life.

Times teaches you that we all grope through darkness and find our way like cars traveling in the night—with God  shining light only five feet ahead at a time onto the highways of our life. But our human hearts somehow can travel thousands of miles this way, one beam at a time a time we move forward often not knowing where we are going, but finding momentum in that fact that we are not where we use to be.

Time teaches you that you must only old standards for others that you can live up to yourself. Or else they aren’t standards  at all—they are simply  a noose strangling those that you love the most and suffocating the meaning and power of GRACE in your own life.

Time teaches you that there is no room for judgment or  energy on stones being thrown because all of our lives are lived in glass sanctuaries. We all are prone to wander minus God’s saving mercy and loving kindness;  so who are we to pile up our rocks in our torn  pockets and wait to cast them?  And if the stones are indeed flung which at some point we all succumb to this ugly act then the judgment always seems to ricochet tenfold because that is what judgment does, it destroys lives. Love builds.

Time teaches you that God more often than not gives us, allows us circumstances in our life that are far beyond our comprehension, our understanding—most often leaving us perplexed and questioning the validity of our  faith…quite possibly God’s goodness. We often become bitter or better when these tragic events arise. There really is no in-between space to linger because difficulty never bore apathy—but struggle will always breed  either a hard heart or an overflowing one. It’s yours to choose.

Time teaches you that relationships are all that matter in this life. In the words of Les Mes  “to love another is to see the face of God”.  The memories we have of the ones we hold dear are the mortar of our soul’s home. The people we love each a doorway leading to undiscovered space in our heart.

Time teaches you that beautiful people are not born. They are wrought.  They are usually formed and fashioned through plans uncoiled, love lost, love not returned, and most often life handing equal parts  pain and joy. Brokenness has a keen way of breeding beauty. A beauty in which we all gravitate towards because beauty’s nickname is authenticity.

Time teaches you that it is better to believe the best of people and be disappointed than to expect the worst and live jaded.

Time teaches you that love is worth the hurt. That a thousand cried tears headed southbound with your shoulders quaking, your heart breaking because death has crept in and stolen your loved one without permission is worth it. To truly love others you must be willing to get hurt –there is no other formula unless you settle for counterfeit love all your life.

Time teaches you that the only way to resuscitate a broken heart is to keep beating even when you want to quit, to hide, to stop, to go numb. Yes, yes, you must always keep beating. Feeling again. Living again. Loving again. Forgiving again. Dreaming again.  All these acts of the human spirit pump more blood, more life, more freedom.

Time teaches you that words are cheap,actions are expensive. No one really care how many scriptures you know, they just care that you live out your faith with conviction and love.  The way you live your life Monday through Saturday is your greatest sermon, you need not say a thing.

Time teaches you only what it can once you realize it is not yours to hold forever…

 

love,

 

 

I usually include a lot of photos but now just doesn’t seem the time. But I did want to share this photo.  I had this amazing night with her last Thursday while she was conscious and alert and she just squeezed my hands  with all her might the entire time and mustered up  from deep within ” you know I will always love you..” in her thick southern brogue. I will forever be grateful for that time.

My precious grandmother entered heaven today,  January  9th around 4 pm. I am heartbroken, but rejoice that she is in the Lord’s embrace eternally. Love you always, sweet Mary Lane.

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  • Linsey

    LLJ, this is beautiful. Time teaches us a lot, doesn’t it? Does that mean we’ll be wise women when we are old? I hope so! I have a very similar photo of me holding my grandmother’s hand just before she passed away last December. I know exactly the kind of fear you were feeling when you visited her in those last days. I was trembling. I took my Bible with me to steady me…hoping that just holding God’s Word might give me strength to stand. How precious that she was so much more than a grandparent to you. A best friend? Wow. What a gift she was to you…and you to her. Peace to you, my friend.

    xo…LLH

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Sweet gal, as always so behind on these generous comments. I love that you are always so uplifting and encouraging. Truly. Thanks for your constant kindness…we are due for coffee date VERY soon. Xoxoxo

  • Natalie

    One of your very best:) I miss you! Glad to hear she made it safely to her final destination. Thankful for you.

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Nat, thanks for your kind words and bring such a faithful friend. Love you

  • martha flynn

    What beautiful words to honor your Grandmother……and I can imagine nothing more sweet than your photo. Wow.

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Martha, gracious as always behind on these sweet comments. Thank you for taking the time to read and to uplift me…means so much. Xo, llj

  • Sharon Lowe

    My best friend told me to read this. . . .Thanks for the many reminders.

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Sharon, well I hope it was worth your time! Thanks for taking time out of your own bust life to read. Blessings, llj

  • http://www.facebook.com/jackie.rossrandolph Jackie Ross Randolph

    Precious, I was at my grandmothers and fathers side like this for a very long, agonizing time! I feel your pain, your loss, your love, and wow, how much it teaches us about what is really important in life!

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Jackie, thank you thank you for your kind words! You are always so uplifting …send me your number please. I am getting back to routine finally and couldn’t find yours! Blessings, Lindsay

  • Sharon O

    Beautiful and sad. I am glad you were with her, no one wants to pass from this world to another alone.

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Sharon, you are right….such a gift to be with the ones you love. Thank you for being so faithful to read all my rambling a. You are so very kind. Love, llj

  • InnieG

    Oh honey I am so so sorry for your loss. St least you can take comfort in knowing where she is now. Im so glad she got to meet little Posey too before she left this world. Time here is a grain of beach sand compared to eternity. Love to you & your family. Love innie xxx

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Innie, sweet gal. How are you?? I’m stil reveling over your kindness —all those sweet treasures you sent. Just in awe. Sorry taken me so long. Life has just been a little crazy lately as I know you get. Thanks for being such a beautiful person inside and out. Love you

  • Kristan

    Love you sweet friend. Your words were Beautifully poured from your heart.

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Kristan, thanks so much for taking the time to read this. You are so thoughtful….truly. I’m so behind on life –sorry for such delayed response. Please know that I treasure your encouragement. Xo

  • Brandy

    Thank you for sharing…..I lost my grandmother last year and I have a photo just like this one….It is one of my favorite pictures that I will ever have of her….Love to you!

    • http://lifelivedfully.com lifelivedfully

      Brandy,
      Thanks for your kind words…how awesome that you have that too?! I look at it over and over—very cathartic. Grandmothers are human angels or at least that’s how I felt. Thanks for taking the time to read…xo, Lindsay