life and death never cease to amaze me…

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood
becomes a matter of life and death to you.”

C.S. Lewis

“I’ve reached the point where I hardly care whether I live or die.
The world will keep on turning without me, I can’t do anything to change events anyway.”

Anne Frank


(dried hydranga blooms / Julie Cook / 2018)

I had a couple of posts that I had been working on that were waiting in the wings.
Posts I was all geared up to finish writing and excited about sharing today.

I had just watched the latest offering by Bishop Ashenden–of which makes for excellent sharing…
And of course, there’s our friend the Wee Flea…and his latest observations…
of which it seems, often needs to be our own observations…as he is always spot on.

Then there’s the story of the animal folks out there and stories of the types of animals that
they’re trying to pass off as “service animals” as they try their darndest to get these
service creatures on planes.
It actually makes for a humorous, ridiculous and rather captivating tale that is now sadly
an indication as to the nuttiness of our society…

And of course, there is the on again off again notion of the Russians coming, going
and not coming or going…

I mean just open any newspaper or click on any news feed or watch ‘the news’—
and the supply of material for the offering of reflection is endless…

Or maybe it is simply a sign that we need to be more earnest with our prayers…as in
never ceasing….of which I believe is actually the case…never ceasing.

But as luck would have it today,
both life and death decided they each needed to intervene in my life.

If I haven’t mentioned it lately, we are officially in baby watch mode.
This first granddaughter of ours is due any day now.
There are however a few glitches that have popped up…but the doctors are assuring us that
we are not to be worrying…for what we see as a glitch, they see as nothing new.

And so as we now hold our breath as we prepare for a new life…today,
which is yesterday if you’re reading this on Saturday, is/was Aunt Maaaatthhhaaaa’s birthday.
She would have been 79.
Remember we lost Martha suddenly and unexpectedly in July.

And so whereas she and I had already had an adventure planned which we should have
lived out this past fall,
as I should have been sharing the tales of our latest exploits…
rather than exploits, I am offering the bittersweet remembrance of her passing.

And to add insult to injury…this morning, which is yesterday morning to you,
just as I was thinking about how much I was missing my aunt,
this accomplice in all things of adventure…
her daughter–that being my cousin….well her fiancee called me, totally out of the blue,
to inform me that she, my cousin, had actually died suddenly while out walking the dog.
On her mom’s birthday.
She was just 48.

She had had a nagging cough and had been tested for the flu but they were treating it as
chronic asthma. I think they are suspecting blood clots in the lungs but I also suspect
that as was very much overweight, I think her heart simply gave out.
She leaves behind a 26-year-old daughter who struggles with autism and a totally shocked
and bereft fiancee who had just proposed on New Year’s Eve.

Both my mother and her sister, Aunt Martha, clung to the old-school
wive’s tales and adamantly held to the notion that bad things always happened in threes…

I say this family has had its three.

And so now no one remains on my mother’s side of the family but for the daughter of
this cousin and me.

And so I am poignantly reminded that we human beings are a people who mark our
days by the significance of the calendar…the passing of time marked by events.
As there will always be ironies found in both our births and in our passings.

I was all ready to be heading off in one direction today when life saw that I should
head in a totally different sort of direction…one that is much more deeply reflective.
And just when I thought we couldn’t get any more reflective then perusing the thoughts of
Bishop Ashenden or the Wee Flea, David Roberston…life teaches us otherwise.

It seems that there will always be joy and sorrow constantly rolled into one another…
Some would call that a ying and yang of living or simply karma—the coming and going around
of the good and bad in the universe…

I simply call it life.

The ebb and flow of this gift we have been given.
Nothing on earth is a guarantee…all but for the love, God has for His children.

And whereas none of us know or are guaranteed another day, let alone another hour…
Knowing that our lives, as precarious and fragile as they are,
are at all times found safely in the hand of the Father, is comfort enough for me…
May it be comfort enough for you…

For despite the markings of the calendar, none of us know the day nor time
our earthly life will come to a close…I pray to be in the hands of the Father
when that day should come for me…

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
What is your life?
For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

James 4:14

47 comments on “life and death never cease to amaze me…

  1. bond0servant says:

    I am ready for that day when He calls me home !!

  2. Lynda says:

    Julie, I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin! So many losses in a very short time. As I write this comment, I’m praying that all will be well with the birth of your first grandchild. Blessings on all the family.

    • Thank you Lynda—whereas this cousin and I were not close—due in part to the gap in age and the distance between our growings up—I just feel that with her death—it’s just one more reminder of that part of my family that has practically disappeared…

      But yes, looking forward to the newness of life in the birth of Autumn—of whom, her parents to be are definitly ready for her arrival!!!

  3. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Lifting you and yours up in prayer SC!!

  4. atimetoshare.me says:

    Miss Scarlet – tomorrow is another day. Make yourself a dress out of the curtains. Seriously though, your life is about to make a big turn around as soon as that baby girl enters it. Enjoy every second!

  5. hatrack4 says:

    So many thoughts. You and your cousin reminded me of my mother and her sister. They were pregnant at the same time, and thought of passing on the family name for one more generation. As a result, my cousin and I have the middle name of Purdon. Oddly, neither of us passed the family name to the next generation. The only place any of us needs our names remembered is in the Book of Life. Thanks for the post.

    • hatrack4 says:

      Oh, I forgot. When your hydrangeas bloom, are they pink, blue, or white? We had a row of hydrangeas that were kind of a flag, ranging from pink to white to blue. The natural soil on one end and my mother throwing egg shells and coffee grounds on the other end to help the purple cane grow underneath the hydrangeas. Of course, she was changing the pH of the soil in doing so.

      • my hydrangeas all started out as different colors but in my soil, they all turn blue…
        This picture is acutally of a hydrangea bush I saw in Florida—I deadhead mine and actually cut the stalks back soon as it’s nice enought for me to get out and work in the yard. I know not to cut too far back as they won’t bloom in the summer if I do—but just back enough so they would grow over the house!

    • thanks Mark—she and I were not close—but in our both picking up the pieces of my aunt’s death…there was a common ground that was nice at the this juncture in life!

  6. oneta hayes says:

    So sorry, Julie. It must be painful to see so many family members taken away. With the one who leave a testimony for Christ, there is a special victory one feels for them but still leaves a hollow spot. Glad you have your new one to come soon. She will bring such joy.

    • Indeed Oneta!
      My aunt, her daughter and granddaughter lived an interesting life together that I really didn’t fully grasp until my aunt died.
      I knew my aunt to be an ostrich—very dedicated to her church but one who stuck her head deep into the sand when it came to the choices her daughter and granddaughter made.
      I would bristle when I’d hear a tale here and there—that of paganism, witchcraft, etc…
      but yet hoped my aunt’s steadfast example and prayers could and would prevail…not so sure if they did—but God knows and sees…

  7. oneta hayes says:

    Yes, we must trust to his loving wisdom. He alone knows the real soul condition of a person at the time of their death. But it is so unwise for people to push their limits when it comes to eternity.

  8. dbp49 says:

    You have my condolences on your loss, along with my prayers for the speedy arrival of a healthy, happy grandchild. (Plus all the best to the new mom.)

  9. Melissa says:

    I was so shocked to here this. I’m so sorry! Praying for Mary Ann and you.

  10. Oh, I am so very, very sorry, dear Julie! Praying God wraps you in extraordinary comfort as you grieve this new loss. Love and huge hugs!

    • Thanks Lynn- I thought to email you yesterday but opted to wait— I shall do so soon— I keep thinking time will soon become my own— and yet it proves elusive— I owe you a good email!
      Thank you for your uplifting prayers-they are always needed!
      Hugs and love ❤️-

  11. Tricia says:

    Oh Julie, I”m so sorry to hear about your cousin. It sure seems like you’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch lately. God knows you and how tough your character is and is surely especially pleased in the graceful way you”ve been handling these things and your heartfelt way of communicating to us the wisdom you’ve gained from them. Prayers and comfort to you my friend.

  12. Wally Fry says:

    Sorry about your cousin, Julie. Was that your first? We had the first of us to die in a car crash about two years ago or so, and it was very shocking.

  13. I’m so sorry about your Aunt Martha’s passing. I know she meant a lot to you and you loved spending time with her. As for the baby, I’m praying that all will be okay and know that the Lord will be with them as this new life emerges into your world. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤ xoxoxoxo

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