The lilies Mamaw dug up on the side of the road. They always remind me of her–because they multiply so much that she would pass along bulbs to everyone else.
I have said this to a couple different people. They always stop me before I can go on, and say, “Jania, don’t say that!” The thing is, I am not scared of dying. Actually, I think of it a lot.
Perhaps it is because of Mamaw. At one time, when I was younger, I would imagine life without Mamaw and cry my eyes out. She was (is) so special to me, that it was hard to think of what it would be like. Spending a couple months there in Tennessee was good–it helped me to see that 1) Mamaw is ready, and 2) she has nothing to fear. It doesn’t stop her from worrying about everything else… I knew when I left that I might not be around when her time comes. I always thought I would be–and remember even in middle school waking up and making sure that she was breathing before I went back to sleep.
I woke up today about ten minutes after I received an email from home. My brother-in-law’s grandfather died this morning after a long life and a fight with cancer. He was a faithful soul–and one of those men that you looked for at convention, gospel meeting, etc. Fred was tough on the outside, but quite the sweetheart inside (as most Dentons are). I hurt now, but not for him– I imagine the pain that my sweet friends/family feel. It is always an impact when a pillar is missing, but it makes it real that we (younger generation) need to step it up. I love the verse in Psalms that says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
You know, death only hurts because of love. And it only hurts those of us left–because we have great love for those we’ve lost. I am thinking of my sister, who has been known to write her love letters to her family when her migraines have gotten bad. I say love letters, because in truth that is what they are. Love is the only thing that really lasts when all is said and done.
Last night I told my roommate, “If I die in Mexico, tell my family I love them.” She freaked out.
So, I will write it here:
If I die in Mexico, know that I am okay with death. I have known the unconditional love of our Father. I’ve known the love of my family, my friends, and a man. I have returned that love the best way I know how.
I don’t worry any longer about my career. I know I am replaceable. I know that it is all vanity. So when I think of the future–I don’t worry about what my next paycheck will be or where it will come from. I think of love–getting it, keeping it, and passing it along. I think of being in a place where my heart can continue to soften and grow. I think of Jesus and his love for others. I wonder how he must have hurt when he was denied and betrayed. That is what causes us to write death love letters: knowing that we have hurt the people who love us in the past.
If I die in Mexico, know that my only regrets are for times that my actions have caused others to doubt my love for them.
Sorry, this was a bit morose, but written with great love!