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Leaving something of yourself on Earth

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????As I get older I realize I don’t have many years left.  It is hard to believe that someday you will cease to exist.  How can that be, when you’ve existed all these years?  Will it be like you are sleeping? Or will it be like a dream that becomes your new reality. I have been asking myself these questions for a long time, and the answers have eluded me (thank goodness for that!). But I’ve also tried to leave something of worth behind me.  Over the years, I enjoyed many crafts and part of the reason is that I am attempting to give my children and the world something to remember me by.  I painted pictures, quilted, painted ceramics, and conducted genealogy research.  Each form of expression gave me some peace―some feeling of leaving something besides my wonderful children behind me on this Earth.

I do not intend for this column to be depressing. But I see no reason not to cope with the reality that someday we will no longer exist—a concept most people who are 86 grapple with.  Will you be forgotten as another generation arrives or have you left something behind that will say “I was here”?  I feel this way about my writing as well.  I am proud to have two books and several stories published; I like thinking that someone might read these works fifty years from now and get pleasure from or entertainment from the words. My writing gives me satisfaction that I have put part of me into the future—I created characters, plots and stories that will allow someone to get lost in my creations for a time.

Although I believe in God and in Heaven, it is very difficult to grasp what it will be like.  How will we recognize loved ones who have gone before us?  How is there space up there for all of us?  Some might say these are useless questions: We will find the answers when it’s our time to go.  Still, the thought of no longer existing as a person in this reality is a hard one to grasp.

My daughter Genilee may have a fit with my writing a column that seems so glum.  I remember well when my own mother talked about death, and I told her the same thing my children would say to me: “Don’t talk about it. I don’t want to hear it.”

I understand where they are coming from, and yet―here I am talking about it on the Internet.  I used to hate the subject as well. But as I approach my 90th year, I can’t help but be curious.  And I’d like to hear from my fellow writers, readers and friends. How do you feel about the subject―deathDo any of you have trouble coming to grips with the fact someday you will no longer exist on Earth?

Regardless of whether I hear from anyone, I promise to write my next column on a more cheerful topic.  And to my friends: don’t worry. I am actually not depressed and I apologize if I’ve made you think about something you don’t want to face right now. Please know that I am quite content with my life.  I hope you are, too.

F. Sharon Swope

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The connections in our lives

Laney shares her bed with CC

Laney shares her bed with CC

I lost two loved ones this week—my brother in law passed away early this week after an extended illness and the family pet died peacefully in our arms a few days later.

This blog isn’t about the loss of either, the sorrow I feel, or the pain I know my sister-in-law Cindy and her boys are feeling. I couldn’t hope to express that well. It’s too soon.

This blog is about connections.

We had CC, the cat, for 14 blessed years. She was a stray that wandered into Cindy’s apartment complex. Because my sister-in-law was the apartment manager, she knew that she had to find a home for the cat or call animal control. She called me one morning.

“Sis. I have this cat you have to take. She is so loving―She has really taken a liking to Jim and won’t leave him alone. I don’t want to call the shelter. Jim would never forgive me.”

My husband and I came and got the cat, I tucked her into my coat to keep her warm, we took her home, and we had many wonderful years and a litter of kittens because of her.

The connection is that, the only reason she came into our lives, is because she took an instant liking to Jim. Jim was Cindy’s husband—the brother-in-law who passed away this week. Jim and CC had made an instant deep connection. My husband I both believe that Jim came to get CC last night. CC had been living with a heart condition for about six months so we were expecting her passing any day, though she appeared healthy up until this morning. We believe she waited for Jim to go first, then decided it was time to join him.

I know that sounds bizarre. But who knows what the true connections are between people and our pets. The only reason we found CC and spent a last few minutes with her before she passed is that our dog Laney was acting very strange. Laney kept trying to get my husband out of bed and even came and jumped in bed with me to try to get my attention. I thought she had to go out. She didn’t. She wouldn’t eat her breakfast. She just kept returning to my husband’s office, and even though we had looked for CC there earlier after hearing a loud meow. We didn’t find CC until the dog kept going back into the office. Our CC was tucked away in a corner, waiting for us. She died a short while later.

So Jim, we’re glad you have CC now to keep you company in heaven, and we’ll try to keep Cindy and her boys feeling loved and appreciated.

But in the mean time: don’t forget how CC likes her ears rubbed; how much she loves to be combed; and how she wants to hide her head when she’s afraid. We sure hope they have tuna in heaven.

–Genilee Swope Parente

Laney shares her dog bed with CC

Laney shares her dog bed with CC
 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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