this is my body

20 08 2008

I’ve been holding on to this post since the 21st of July. I’ll give you “pre” event thoughts and give you the “post” event some other time.

07/21/08 – 6 pm EST – Grand Rapids, MI

This is my body…which is broken for you.

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. the pastor is going to my parent’s home to celebrate communion with them. It almost took my breath away when I heard my mom say that…who does that? I’ve never known anyone to do that. It’s my birthday – 53 of them to be exact. I was selfishly guarding the day to myself…wondering if I could put off going down for one more day. Until I heard that.

I feel like I need to be there for that holy moment. How will my dad react? Will he just cry? Will he know it may be the last broken bread and wine he has on this earth? Or will it be marked by a release…his understanding that he’s free to go…all his affairs are in order? Does he understand that this isn’t the treatment that everyone in the church gets? Will it feel like he’s awake during the Last Rights?

This is my body…broken for you.

His body is so broken. His skin is transparent – like parchment paper delicately laid over a skeleton. Too much paper in some spots – and not nearly enough in others. Slowly the years have evaporated from his soul. He seems so tired – so ready to go. Maybe he needs to hear how much we’ll miss him and how sad we are to see him so frail and not enjoying life. I always think I should speak those words on my way out of the house…wondering if it will be the last time I see him…and I can’t bring myself to force the air around my vocal chords. I just say, “see you later mister…I’ll be back in a couple of days”

Even if he leaves before I get back – those words are true. I will see him again – and it will seem like a couple of days. And I’ll be so glad to see him again or hear him whistling. He can barely catch his breath. No whistles here. He’s saving them all so that when he shows up in that place…his brothers and sister will hear him coming. His nephew will know that Uncle Bill has arrived. Two moms and a dad waiting too…one who left him as a motherless child so long ago…only to have her sister step in to care for him and the others. And his dad – who he loving shaved for six years when his own soul was trapped in a motionless frame.

Does the pastor feel it? Does he feel my dad’s spirit withering like a week-old mylar balloon?

On my 53rd birthday – I will be there to celebrate life…a life well lived…a life lived in sacrifice for the ones he loved…a life lived in imitation of the One who’s life was willingly sacrificed for many.

I don’t remember ever taking communion with my dad…he was always off DOING communion – serving others – NOT being served. It’s your turn now Billy.

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3 responses

20 08 2008
John

hey Wendy,
Just came across this blog a day or two ago. Your writing is beautiful and poignant. Perfectly suited for the gracious man whose stories you recount. Your dad has been a rich treasure to me. Generous and caring from the day I met him. I still have an egg-carton filled with old golf balls somewhere in the trunk of my car. I won’t soon forget the relief I felt every Friday knowing that I didn’t have to find time to stuff the church bulletins. The job was in the hands of an expert. And a reliable one, to be sure.
Thanks for allowing us to join you in what has to be a kaleidoscope of emotions . Please tell your mom and dad I said hello.
John Sloan

20 08 2008
Magik Quilter

This was beautiful and very emotive. I hope it was all you needed it to be.

I had holy communion at my favourite aunt’s funeral…we only had two other families here as we were migrants….. so she was special to me. I had to step over my parents who are Catholics and would not or could not take it in an Anglican Cathedral. She had so wanted them to do it in life…had asked her priest…she was so High Anglican her priests mostly did not marry and they had said if my parents wanted to then they could have it with her in her home but they would not…could not whatever.

I had holy communion with her and my uncle once …my husband, baby son and myself. She was so happy and proud. She prayed for me for years when I became an atheist….ten years and she was the first person I told that I had been converted. So I was determined to step right over my parents and I did…..right past all the rest of our extended family here….four rows of pews where they all sat until I passed my uncle and cousins and their children and after I took communion and had the wine my mother who is deaf now said at the top of her voice….oh Tom she took the wine….oh how could she!

My uncle who is very reserved came and got me and just hugged me. It meant so much so know just how much this meant to you.
Kathleen
xx

20 08 2008
Lynn, son in law

We have always been told that there will be a place in heaven ,a prepared place, for those who ask Jesus to come into their hearts, ask forgiveness for their sins, and allow Him to live in their hearts.
This is very hard for me to see my father in law of 36 years go thru this seemingly long process of preparing to meet Thee Almighty.
The only assurance that I have and has helped getting me thru this is that Billy, as he has been called ,Grandpa to me and our kids, HAS met all of God’s list of “How To Get To Heaven”. He will be one of the first people I will be hunting up when I reach heaven.
I’m sure that one of the reasons that Grandpa is still here is that a very “special”
mansion is being prepared for him and the building inspector is running a little behind.
More then just a father-in-law to me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love to all

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