Monday, August 21, 2006

Turn, Turn

It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch.

Friday afternoon I received a call from my cousin telling me that my aunt* was in serious condition in the hospital ICU , and it was uncertain how long she might live. I drove up to Dallas early Saturday morning, and spent the weekend with my aunt and the rest of the family who had gathered. She is waging a mighty struggle with an aggressive form of multiple myeloma, which basically means she has a type of cancer that is eating away her bones from the inside out, and destroying her white blood cell production in the process.

This is one of the kindest, most considerate, giving people I've known. She is also exceptionally fierce, is capable of holding an intense grudge, and is an amazing cook. She is among the funniest of humans ever to draw breath, and raised 4 fabulously fun-loving and clever people. I'm always left with the sense that I don't want the time to end when we're all together. That is intensely true now.

My grandfather died in 1993.
My mother died in 2001.
My grandmother in 2004.
My uncle died in 2005.

I'm weary of saying goodbye to people I love. More than that, I'm so sad that this cherished part of my family has to go through this pain.

This week's Weekend Words Challenge, sponsored by OddMix fit my situation perfectly this week. The words for this week are fantasy and reality.


My fantasy is that this earthly vessel God has loaned us would stay as beautifully flawless and perfectly healthy as this sweet baby's....


...but the reality is that we all will wither and die, just like the leaves on this tomato plant. Animal, mineral, vegetable, none are immune.

Sometimes it's hard to look past the hurt to the hope. I'm still working on that.

For everything there is a season,
And there is a time for every event under heaven
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Hug your old people.
Kiss your babies.
Tell everyone that you love them.

We never know when the season will turn.
*She is not really my aunt. She is my mother's cousin, but the families were small, and very close. I have always considered her my aunt, and she is also like a second mother to me. She is currently holding steady, and will get some test results back today to determine the next course of action.


Blogger Ravinnia said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you and your family today. Thank you for the reminder of how precious life is:)

8:53 AM  
Blogger Kami said...

Sending healing vibes...

9:10 AM  
Blogger Southern Fried Girl said...

I'm sorry your fam is going through this. I'll keep y'all in my thoughts.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Tx Mom said...

You expressed yourself beautifully here. I completely understand what you mean. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

9:41 AM  
Blogger A taste that's bitter said...

Those are some beautiful pictures.

I am so sorry to hear about your aunt. We'll be thinking of you. :)

9:48 AM  
Blogger TBG said...

Saying goodbye to love ones is the hardest thing we ever have to do.

That post was beautiful!

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I could not agree with you more - I have lost two family friends in the past week (one in a car accident, one in a mountain climbing accident, and received call while at the graveside service of a loved one who is terminally ill).

Love and prayers to you and your aunt.

Live each day as if it is Christmas.

God bless!

5:53 PM  
Blogger The Kept Woman said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt. It is true that we will all "wither and die" but why does it always have to seem so soon?

7:24 AM  
Anonymous OddMix said...

Your photographs are beautiful. And your words are so poigniant. I am sorry for your pain.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Stunning! The leaf one leaves me a little breathless. And I love your analogies.

12:56 PM  
Blogger SoozieQ said...

I'm so sorry for your Aunt (and those around her who love her)

This was a fantastic her life (as she's still living it) and just in general.

Great photos AS USUAL!!!

1:39 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. When I was young I was blessed to have lots and lots of extended family members, yet as I got older I had to watch so many of them die. It is never easy and it is always to soon. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. ((HUGS))

12:14 PM  
Blogger Mainline Mom said...

What a wonderful post, even though I'm sure it was painful to write. Praying for you, my sister in Christ.

4:11 PM  

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