Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring, Where Are You?

I really hate those periods of time when it seems like death is looming in the air and lurking around every corner. Unfortunately, this seems to be one of those times. It makes the air feel heavy, like a mid-August day that's 105 degrees with 98% humidity.

Within the span of a week, I'll will attend a second funeral. The first was for the father of my dear friend, Linda. Although I didn't know him, I care very much about her and her family. I didn't know what to do other than show up and say I'm sorry. I sent flowers, which I rarely ever do, because they're sad flowers and smell like death. Not sure why, but for some reason I felt like sending flowers this time -- hopefully they cheered her up a little bit.

This Friday, I'll pay respects for a man from my neighborhood who lost his bout with the lung cancer that had travelled throughout his body. Tony was a very good, decent man -- the kind of person that humbled me just because of the kind of human he was. He was quiet, a veteran, and a true gentleman. I'll miss him, and it's sad to know there's one less good guy on the planet.

Others are sick, and I pray for them to be well. Sometimes I'm not sure anyone is anyone is listening, but just in case I say prayers anyway.

The news, on any given night, seems to leave me shaking my head in disbelief. The headline story is either a senseless murder or another nail in the coffin of our financial system. I know a bad economy isn't the same as losing a loved one, but even if you're not on the brink of financial ruin, it IS depressing to hear nothing but bad news day after day. Especially when people around you are sick and dying.

Anyway, I kept the prayer card from Linda's father's funeral service. The words were neither biblical verse nor traditional, eloquent poetry. Instead, it was the simplicity of the message that stuck with me:

When I am dead, cry for me a little.
Think of me sometimes, but not too much.
It is not good for you, or your wife, or your husband, or your children to allow your thoughts to dwell too long on the dead.
Think of me now and again as I was in life at some moment which it is pleasant to recall.
But not too long.
Leave me in peace as I shall leave you, too, in peace.
While you live, let your thoughts be with the living.

And so I will remember lost friends and loved ones, but I'll focus my energy on loving and cherishing those who are here. Focus on being a better daughter, sister, friend, colleague, person, neighbor, citizen, driver, pinao-player, blogger ... whatever. I can't control the ebb and flow of life and death. I can only control what I contribute, and since I'm not particularly happy with my contributions LTD (life-to-date), I'll work on stepping things up a notch or two.

I'm so thankful that spring is around the corner. Oh Spring, I hope you're around the corner! It's time for you to replace cold, grey, death with your sunshine, life, hope, and warmth.

Maybe I'm totally delusional to hang my hopes of renewed energy and spririt on a flip of the calendar page, but I don't care. Sometimes delusional is fun, and sometimes it's not fun but if it gets me through the lumps, then I'll take a Delusional Super-Sized to go, please.


Anonymous said...

Loved your post - I too can't wait
for spring! Our family just experienced 2 deaths this month so
I can relate. I really like the
poem and plan to pass it on to some
family members. I hope it can help.

Los said...

Before you know it, Spring will be in the air, and the "rebirth" will begin - we'll see the Robins, flower buds, grass growing again.

Death is never an easy thing - just don't forget to remember the good times.

Gwen said...

Great post. It's easy to feel a sense of futility with so much negativity around us. Sometimes I feel like my blog is my place to embrace the pessimist in me. I rant, I vent, I rage against the injustice of the world, I whine like the little bitch I am, and then I let it all go. Every spring, I start my life out with a renewed sense of purpose. I don't think that's delusional at all, to want a new start. I wrote a blog called Spring Wings last year with a similar sentiment. My goal was to write my ass off and make the rest o fthe year count. Well that didn't happen. At first. But I'm still alive and a new spring is just around the corner. Let's make our changes together : ) If you want to read that Spring Wings blog here is the link!

Well Read Hostess said...

tagged ya.

schue said...

Jeez,another blog that brought my a tear to my eye today. I love that poem.
I stopped watching the news a while ago, i'm up to date on current events as much as i should be but between the economy,the cop shootings in philly and everything else, whew, i couldn't stop cryin!

I just wrote a blog about death, but it's a little different.

Robin said...

Lisa - I love this post. It touched me. Thank-you!