Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)
TITLE: That's Life
By Antje Hill
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During this unsettled time in my life, I decided what I needed was a visit with my son and his family. A call cinched the plans and the anticipation of the trip became the bright spot in my life. Russ and I had always been very close, so I knew once we were together, there would be times of sharing family, work and dreams for the future. He was a successful attorney in Seattle and was working hard to make his mark in the world. As the day for my departure drew closer, I could hardly wait for the two thousand mile flight across the country. Wednesday seemed a long time away.
On Sunday morning Richard and I enjoyed our church service and then left our little church to visit a friend in the hospital. We had only been home a few minutes when my sister drove up. I knew something was wrong. She came in, a distraught look on her face. “What is wrong, something is wrong.” She avoided my eyes as she led me to the nearby sofa.
“Russ passed away this morning, Sister.” I went to my knees in shock. I remember very little of the next few hours. My husband and I prepared for our journey westward, but not the journey we had planned. Harsh reality had interrupted our plans. We had not known of Russ’ heart condition. Life was suddenly not so ordinary.
Mr. Webster says the word ‘holiday’ means (1) a day of rest, fixed by law, (2) pertaining to a joyous occasion or state of being. What a shame that most of us accept the first definition and we don’t pursue it any further. Once upon a time, that was what I did. But through life experiences, I’ve found there’s more to life than just making it through. When the day is trouble free, it is a blessing straight from the hand of God.
I’m glad that in all stages of life we can grow. Even hurting places help us as we try to sort out feelings and moods. Growing is what I did in the loss of my son. As I remember the terrible pain of that day, I realize there are no ordinary days. A cup of coffee and a husband wishing to share early morning with me is not ordinary. Watching a sunrise or seeing a deer scamper through the meadow near our home is quite picturesque. White jet streams cutting across the pale sky or church bells ringing in the quiet of the evening remind me that life is good. No printed calendar can “fix’ by law a holiday for me. Every day has taken on a new meaning. Life is precious, a state of being that can be altered by remembering the words of The Universe Maker; “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” That sounds like a holiday to me.
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