Thursday, August 26, 2010
CSA 15 and Nancy
This week brought two new items that we haven't received before in our box- broccoli and red peppers! We like both vegetables, so this is a good thing. Everything else is normal, oranges (including some that we traded our arugula this week for), grapefruit, limes, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce and sprouts.
We should have traded the sprouts... actually we should have traded last week's sprouts too. Blake enjoys sprouts... but not radish sprouts. The problem is, you can't tell by looking at them, you have to taste them. We don't want to taste the sprouts if we end up trading them, but we don't want to get rid of the sprouts that he likes either by thinking they are the bad kind lol. So... our worms get fed. :-)
In addition to the box, our garden is still doing well (its just not as photogenic as it used to be... so I don't currently have pictures of it), and I have to figure out how to use a bunch of tomatoes, some more peppers (lots of spicy ones, and some sweet) and lots of eggplant! Our eggplant was so slow, and keeping up with our demands... but now we have 9 growing!!! Ack! It looks like they will be ready all around the same time too. We are thinking we will need to make some dishes just to freeze/ jar them and use them later. So I'm looking into it.
In other news, I attended Blake's grandfather's wife's memorial this weekend. His grandmother passed away early on in our dating (7-8 years ago) . Shortly after that he married this sweet lady, Nancy, who recently passed away. She was precious to all of us. More than that, her memorial impacted everyone who attended it. She was one of those extraordinary people who is ALWAYS nice, loving and thoughtful to those around her. In all the time I knew her, I never saw her mad, or frustrated or even grumpy!
I left feeling like I want to leave that kind of a legacy behind me, I want to be the kind of person who everyone remembers as always nice. I'm so far from there right now... but its a goal, and I know others left feeling the same desire to be more like her.
There were other things about her memorial that touched me too, like the fact that she requested that she not have any flowers on her grave, but have other people come to know Jesus instead. She had an alter call at her memorial, and some people accepted Christ at it too! She was still making an impact on people's lives, even after she left!
My last memories of her are super precious to me. Previous to her, I was never really around a dying person. I had relatives die... but the last time I saw them, they were still more or less normal, talking, etc. When Blake and I got there, she was still conscious, but her eyes were mostly closed, and she couldn't talk anymore. I felt really awkward around her, and I didn't know what to say or do. My mother in law was really good with her, still talking to her, while also giving Blake's grandfather support and reassurance etc. But then Lori was thinking out loud that she wished she could sing better, because Nancy loved singing, and listening to worship, and knew that it would be something she enjoyed. (Apparently hearing is the last thing to go). She remembered that I like to sing, and asked if I would feel comfortable doing it. I was happy to have the chance to do something more than stand around awkwardly.
I was really nervous at first, but I opened up a hymn book, and found some that I knew, and started singing to her. Then, which I will always remember, Nancy joined me the best she could... her mouth started moving as I sang, like she was mouthing the words with me. I was holding her hand as I sang the hymns, and her fingers moved now and then, showing me that she knew I was there. Blake's grandfather noticed after I finished a song, and confirmed what I had thought I saw, and said "She was singing with you." Adding more significance to the event was the memory I had had prior to this that she and I had talked about how I enjoyed to sing and she said that we should sing together sometime. I am so thankful that I got to do it before she went to be with the Lord.
During the service, her granddaughter (with an amazing voice) sang a worship song. Part of the way through, she started to lose it, and had to catch herself from starting to cry. This did me in. I was crying off and on during the beginning of it (the first time was when I saw Blake's grandfather start to cry), but when this happened, my last memories of Nancy combined with her family's grief really made me lose it, and I had a really hard time pulling myself back together after that.
I am thankful though of the hope of heaven. I truly believe that everyone who is a Christian is going to heaven someday, and I will see them again. So losing loved ones who are saved is sad for us... but not for them. I am nervous about losing family members who don't believe though. And the worst thing is, that they don't have hope either. If dying is just the end and nothing comes afterward, then how can you find peace as your life comes to an end? One of my grandmothers is unsaved... and she doesn't want to talk about death, at all. Nancy accepted it so much that she helped plan her memorial, she told her children and her grandchildren what she would want there, and her biggest hope and request is that others would be saved through it.
Its an incredible contrast to me. The biggest thing that I don't understand is simply about logic. If Christians are right, and there is a heaven for believers, and you don't believe, its bad news for you when you die. If Christians are wrong, and those who believe that life ends forever when you die are right, its still better for us because we go towards death peacefully and hopefully! It goes without saying that I think I believe the truth (or else why would I believe it), but I don't see what there is to gain by believing that nothing happens after you die. You live a life fearful of death, and then when your loved ones die you are wrecked with grief because you think you will never get to see them again, AND if Christians are right, you don't get to experience heaven! If you believe, you live a life of hope, you have hope when loved ones die, and if we are right, you get to go to heaven someday! Good deal all around!
There is nothing to lose! Honestly, I understand more those who follow other religions. Believing that there is something after you die, no matter what it is, makes a lot more sense to me than believing there is nothing. For the simple reason that you can't know, you can't be sure either way, I will fully admit that I have not died yet, so I could be wrong. But I believe. ( What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. Hebrew 11:1 NLT) But that also means that if you believe that life ends forever when you take your last breath, you are believing and having faith in something too, and it is worse for you, because if ANY religion that believes in the afterlife is right, then you made an eternal mistake.
I'm okay with the chance of being wrong. If, for some reason, all us Christians are wrong (and Muslims, and Buddists etc.) and all that happens when I die is that my body decomposes and becomes part of the ground, I will still go on following Jesus for my lifetime. Why? For the hope, for the peace, for the motivation to do the right thing, for the purpose it gives me, for the reason for existing.
I didn't mean for this to become a religious post, but I treat this blog as the closest thing to a journal, and I am currently just putting my thoughts out there. The thoughts that I want to say all the time, but am usually too afraid to say in case someone thinks ill of me. Which is sad. I think part of the reason I am bold enough to do this is because of Nancy's memorial (look at her still impacting lives!).
The fact is, whether you live to be 5 or 100, everyone dies sometime. We don't know when it will be. If you don't like to think about death... maybe you should. Because you don't know that tomorrow you won't get into a fatal car accident, or get cancer or be caught by a stray bullet that was intended for someone else. We have no idea. Maybe you don't like to think about religion. But like it or not, you believe something. You are currently living your life with the expectation that after you die _____________. You make choices based on that assumption. And if your assumption is that nothing happens, then you might want to rethink it. Because if you're right, and I'm wrong, I'm still in good shape. If I'm right and you're wrong, your future isn't bright. Really... what do you have to lose? Go to a church, read a Bible, talk to some believers, see what we're about.
Blake doesn't like to start watching movies, but my regular ploy is that he can stay for just the first 10 minutes, and then if he doesn't like it, he can leave. He almost always stays, because he gets hooked. That's what I suggest with Christianity. Try it... you might just get hooked :-)