My grandma was a wise old soul, took me by the hand not long ago
Said, “Son what’s your hurry? Boy, slow it down
Taste the wild honey, listen to the sound
of the wind that’s blowin’ through the trees, rivers flowin’ to the sea…
Life’s for livin’, child, can’t you see?”
These are the days that we’ll remember
These are the times that won’t come again
The highest of flames becomes an ember
And you gotta live ’em while you can
So take ’em by the hand, they’re yours and mine
Take ’em by the hand and live your life
Take ’em by the hand and don’t let them all fly by
—These Are the Days by Keith Urban
We had a reminder of the brevity of life last week.
My kids play in a band called New Horizons through their music school. It is a national organization, dedicated to providing the opportunity for people who have always dreamed of playing an instrument to make that dream a reality. Most participants are 55+, but exceptions have been made for Josh and Julia. Their experiences have been invaluable and the people involved are absolutely wonderful.
The sad and unwelcome news came on Tuesday that one of the band members had died suddenly. Her named was Lyndel and she was only 54 years old.
Just the week before, the band had played a lakefront concert on a beautiful summer evening. Lyndel’s ever-present smile was captured on photos as she played her French horn.
She had no way of knowing that would be her last concert.
One of her mourners made this comment: “Lyndel was always a giver of light. Her beautiful smile, her kind words, her laughter always brought brightness to every situation.”
Another said, “My heart dropped when I heard you were gone. Even though its been many years since I knew you, I remember that you were always kind to a geeky freshman. May God hold you always in the palm of His hand.”
Hers was obviously a life very well lived. I especially loved that an act of kindness to this self-described “geeky freshman” was remembered nearly 40 decades later. Our lives have the potential to powerfully influence those around us. Let’s take every opportunity to speak words of life.
On Friday night, my family and I were visiting with friends at their lakefront home. One of our friends stopped by after Lyndel’s memorial and told us about the service. She related that although there were certainly sadness and tears, there was also much laughter as Lyndel’s friends and family shared funny stories from her life.
As I sat around the table, surrounded by friends and the sound of the summer rain falling outside, I was reminded anew of life’s fragility.
I became fully present to the moment. My eyes lingered on each face…fellow travelers who are all on a pilgrimage to Jesus. We attend the same church and do life together. We share laughter (lots of laughter 🙂 ), heartache, struggles, victories, and stories.
Our children…most of whom are teenagers…could be seen in the next room playing video games, talking, and eating burgers and chips. Fresh faces, full of hope and promise and life. Outbursts of laughter and silliness were frequent.
An ordinary Friday night…and yet not.
There are no ordinary days.
Each day is precious. There will never be another one like it. We dare not take a single second for granted.
Early tomorrow morning, my family and I are headed back to my hometown for a visit. I will treasure every moment.. I will fully enter in to each day. I will leave no kind word of appreciation or admiration unsaid. I will laugh. I will fully relax with those who have known me my entire life. I will most likely gain five pounds as we eat at all our favorite places…and it will all be worth it. I will revel in being back “home” for a little while…where memories fill my mind and heart at nearly every turn.
But most importantly, I will celebrate the dear ones who have graced my life in such rich ways.
These are the days that I’ll remember.
6 responses to “These Are The Days”
This was so fitting for us, right now, and just the drop of encouragement that we needed in our little bucket of life. 🙂
My husband found out he is losing his job in October and we have been talking about how it will probably be a very difficult time in many ways, but the difficult times seem to be the ones most fondly remembered. We likened it to Lord of the Rings – how everyone sees it as such a great adventure and yet, in reality, as they’re going through it all, there’s nothing even remotely fun!! They didn’t know if they were going to win and they didn’t even know who would live through it! (And a few of them didn’t.) Nevertheless, the end of the movies shows that they reminisce fondly, now that they’re through the trial and adventure.
This post helped to reinforce that concept in my mind, so I will be better able to embrace what’s ahead with determination and full presence in each moment. These ARE the days, and I want to squeeze every drop of precious out of them that I can.
P.S. It seems to me that God very strategically placed you in my life during this time. You have been the greatest source of encouragement and joy these last months…
Bless your heart, Fae…you encourage me too! I have not forgotten about writing that post about having a “battle plan” when life gets hard (the one that your comment to one of the posts inspired). I am working on it and hope to have it up this week!
I will certainly be praying about your husband’s job situation…my family and I have just come through a similar trial and I can tell you with all certainty that He is faithful! He has resources we know nothing about and you will be amazed at His bountiful provision!!!
I just read this quote recently: “He is always good and I am always loved, no matter what happens.” Hold onto that!
Blessings to you,
Waking up and being present in our everyday lives. This is what we’re called to as human beings. Taking notice of those around us and making sure that we’re investing our hearts accordingly!
Thanks for stopping by my world today. I value your time.
Thank YOU Elaine! You bless me everyday with your beautiful words and your radiant faith!
Blessings to you,
I have a small block of wood that says, “Live life joyfully.” And we should and what fun it is to live that way!