Death, Diapers, and Wilson Phillips

“He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend – provided, of course, that he really is dead.” Voltaire

Yesterday morning, quite early, my head was filled with an old Wilson Phillips song. Not long afterwards, I realized that I was completely out of diapers for my 2 month old daughter. I looked at her sleeping like a tiny bundle of pink loveliness and realized that the situation would need to be remedied. It was about 5:30 a.m. Our grocery store doesn’t open until 6 a.m. I waited in the parking lot while she cooed and burbled, for the time content in her dirty diaper. The cooing turned to crying before long, however, and I decided to take a few turns around the dark, empty parking lot. (We live in a small town, so this isn’t as dangerous as it would have been in a large city at that hour.) I waited and watched as the vendors’ trucks came and went. The moon was out and there was little traffic. When I was finally able to get inside the store, there was ONE box left and it was opened already. Everything was otherwise as it should have been, however, there was no more of that size for anyone else who didn’t want to pay twice the amount I did for more expensive brands. Our area has has a baby boom over the last few years. There must be a run on size 1 diapers!

At any rate, as I returned home, secure with my sweet, sleeping infant and her size 1/2 diapers (what’s up with a mixed size of diapers?), my sleep-deprived thoughts turned to death, last words, and a scene from Return of the King, where a mentally unstable Steward of Gondor talked of “death embalmed and a long, slow sleep”. The night previous, my husband Adam told me that I needed to go to sleep. I answered rather glibly that I would sleep when I was dead. Adam does not like me to talk about my death. Understandably, I don’t like to think of his death either. Nonetheless, it is something we must all consider. We need to think about the kind of life we live. We need to consider the people we are now and the people we desire to become in the future. How will people think of us when we are no longer drawing breath? I want to be mourned, not because I am just such an awesome person I can never be replaced, but because I’ve made a contribution to people’s lives. The sum of our lives is what we leave behind in other people’s lives, not the possessions we accumulate or the records we break.

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, at all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” Ephesians 5:15-20 Amplified Version

I would admonish and encourage you to be a person worthy of remembrance. Live richly by investing in other people. Give generously. Listen patiently. Help cheerfully. LOVE. Make your epitaph an eloquent sonnet to the milk of human kindness. In this way, your life stretches on a terrible long count of years. In this way, you are well worthy of remembering.

Embracing Adventure

A couple of weekends ago I went on a Date with my sweet, sweet hubby, Adam. It started out by going to breakfast. It took more than 45 minutes before we were served. The food was not worth the wait. The bathrooms were I-can-hold-it-until-we-get-home dirty. There was a little girl who tried, in vain, to compete for her mom’s attention by climbing all over the booth next to us and into the one beyond that, singing in the aisles, which put her in the way of the waitresses and other customers. The whole experience wasn’t something which led me to believe that restaurant will be receiving a 5-star rating anytime soon. Still, we were fed and didn’t have to make it ourselves, and we got a break from the kids. To top it all off, we now have a funny story to tell.

From there we went to the mall, where my hubby and I took turns going to places one or both of us like. He even let me spend what I’m sure was a long time smelling lotions at Bath and Body Works, and even let me buy some, even though we’re on a fairly tight budget right now. (Let me just stop right now and say, for the sake of my hubby’s reputation as basically just plain awesome, that when I say he “let” me buy lotion, what I mean is that he didn’t give me any grief or guilt and actually encouraged me to treat myself. As a mom, you spend a lot of time doing that for others.) We went to Game Stop and we went to a store where previously Adam had found a really good deal on Gilmore Girls and bought 2 seasons I didn’t already own, because he knows how much I like them. (That’s something my oldest daughter like to do sometimes together.) We even stopped at a little kiosk and bough new covers for our phones. Nerds love their gadgets, after all, we like to care for them, like pets. I may even name mine Poppy.

And then…Adam, aka, Mr. Awesome, led me to a tea shop, called Teavana. A girl at the front of the shop was offering samples of tea, so we tried them, and then we were caught and she led us through the shop and we sampled teas of different flavors, scents, colors, temperatures. All around us were beautiful teapots and canisters of teas and lovely china, and soft lighting. It was a very girly place. I was completely enjoying myself. What a treat it was! Did I mention the fact that Mr. Awesome is 6ft 5in, likes heavy metal, has a ponytail, mustache, and goatee, and is not even remotely girly? He is also rather blunt at times and had some less than poetic descriptions of the teas we were drinking, which made me laugh and shake my head. He stayed there with me, and samples teas from tiny plastic cups, and told the girl he was “gift idea shopping”, and watched me the whole time, and enjoyed my company. He was up for an adventure and willing to move outside of his comfort zone to make someone else happy. I felt very much treasured because he wanted to see me enjoy myself and spend time with me.

I was a little hesitant when the girl fist moved toward us at the front of the tea shop. Like many others who have been to malls, I have experienced the trapped feeling that overly-zealous salespeople can instill in you, their prey. I have had my hair partially curled and straightened and spent the rest of the day looking like I had been called away from my morning preparation a little too soon. I have been swarmed by clone-like young women in a cosmetics store, all talking in unison and asking me if they could help me. I ran from those invasion of the body-snatching salespeople experiences, as I’m sure many others have.

Sometimes, I think we get so used to running from these experiences that we brush off the slightest interruption in our day, no matter where it comes from. We say no when a friend wants to chat over coffee (or tea). We don’t call our mom and dad. (Sorry Mom and Dad, I love you.) We ignore our kids when they want to show us a picture, or schoolwork, or show us how fast they can run, or spin, or dance, or how they can sing, or tell a joke about an orange, a refrigerator, and a box of matches. When we turn our attention to other things, besides our same, old boring, hum-drum routine, we take part in the adventure of life that God is continually trying to woo us into. We become enriched and more interesting, we are put in the path of people who need us. We also, many times, miss out on opportunities to grow and become better-informed and well-rounded people. So, take a chance! Order something different in a restaurant. Try a new place to eat. Pray for that person walking past you on the sidewalk (who you would normally mentally judge). Take part in the Adventure, and more than that, embrace it.