Yesterday, a student sent me an e-mail asking for some notes I promised to any of them who would ask, notes to prep for finals. "Is there still time?" she said. I sent her the notes, then told her she had tons of time since the exam wasn't until today.
No, the exam is this afternoon, an hour away, she wrote back.
She was right. If she hadn't told me, I would have missed the final--my own. My mind simply isn't working.
I'm missing all sorts of things like that lately, and probably for good reason. I honestly believe that my mother-in-law has reached her final days. It's almost impossible to remember the those first weeks of her hospice care, more than 2 1/2 years ago. Time and time again we thought she was going, but she'd rally, never coming back to anything near to what she was, but just managing to stay alive. Last night, one of her most loyal and loving visitors visited and sang to her the hymn Mom has requested for her funeral, but nothing appeared to register.
Not long ago, our preacher said to me, "Dying is hard work."
It must be. Sometimes. It certainly is, this time.
This morning the ground is wet from an early morning shower, but the sky overhead is clear. Somewhere out east, clouds are rolling away. In a half hour, I'm guessing the dawn will be glorious, but I'm not going to meet it because I'm needed here.
Maybe, finally, the finals are upon us. If it's not today, then it'll be tomorrow--God willing.
God willing. For more than two years it's been a chore to pray because it's almost humanly impossible to ask for death. I'm sure some have. I'd like to know how.
Just now I thought of this picture I grabbed two years ago. I don't know why, because it's no piece of art, but somehow it fortifies. All the way across the pond, beyond that dead branch, a father and son, fishing.
Life maybe. Just nothing more or less than life. No more finals. This morning I'm thankful for that picture.