Friday, January 29, 2010

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Anyone who writes has a day when there are no words; when you can’t think of the first letter to put on a piece of paper (or your computer screen). On those dry days, I do one of several things.

1) I call a friend, and sometimes in the course of a conversation, something wakes my muse.
2) I read; usually my Bible, sometimes something completely secular, and a word hits the trigger of my creativity.
3) Finally, I put music in my CD player and just listen, forgetting all about writing until something happens as it did today.

I am listening to a one song CD by Tim McGraw. The song is called, “Live Like You Were Dying” and my ‘muse’ woke up and woke my fingers. These are the words to his song;

He said, “I was in my early forties, with a lot of life before me,
When a moment came that stopped me on a dime,
And I spent most of the next day, looking at the x-rays
And talking ‘bout the options, talking ‘bout time sweet time.

And I asked him when it sunk in
That this might really be the real end.
“How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?” He said,

“I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing;
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.”
And he said, “Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying.”

He said, “I was finally the husband that most of the time I wasn’t.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all of a sudden going fishin’ wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.

“And I finally read the good book and I took a good long hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again…and then

I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu,
And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.
And he said, “Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying.”

Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity to think of what you did with it…
What you did with it…What did I do with it?

I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu,
And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying.
And he said, “Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying.”

In the book that came with the CD, McGraw said it wasn’t about his dad who recently passed away, but about times that all of us get to a time when we think, “What if...”

I have had that chance two times.

The first time was in Intensive Care as I watched my daughter slip away. I didn’t know what to do or what to say, so I spent those few precious days saying, “I love you”, over and over. I learned to never let her brother leave the house, or hang up the phone without saying, “I love you.” I greet my grandchildren with “I love you”, and I say goodbye to them the same way. I learned that in life, the only really important thing we can give… is the knowledge that we have loved another person completely and unconditionally.

Like McGraw’s song, I even came to a place where “I gave forgiveness I’d been denying” and I learned something. When you really hate another person, the only person you truly harm is yourself. They go on with their life, and you are the person stuck in the darkness. On the day I said, “I forgive you,” my whole world changed. For the first time in almost five years, I looked at the sky and saw blue and not shades of gray. I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize the person who smiled back at me. I stepped out of hell that day into life again. The power of forgiveness can only be called Supernatural, and I believe is a gift from God Almighty.

The second time was when I was in Cardiac Intensive Care, but as a patient. I was very ill, and after all the tests were in, came to a place where I was ready for death. I made my peace with God, I knew that my soul was right in the eyes of Eternity, and then (like an earlier Blog), ‘God interrupted”.

I was at peace and ready to say goodbye to my son, when he came to see me before surgery and told me that his grandmother had just died an hour earlier. There was no way I could let him remember a day when he lost both his mom and his grandmother.

It seems almost funny now, but I remember offering a quick prayer, “Whoa Lord. I can’t come to You today. I need to come through this surgery alive.” As He has too many times, God listened and honored my prayer.

So I lived, and I did some things I wanted to do. I went to the West Virginia Writer’s Contest, twice, and won prizes both times. I started submitting my writing on a monthly basis and seeing some success. I made it a point to spend time with my son and with friends instead of isolating myself. I let go of the pain of my daughter’s death, and instead concentrated on the joy of my son’s life.

I went to his wedding and watched as he and a lovely young woman said their vows and entered into a new chapter of their lives. She already had two little girls, and I joyfully accepted the idea of becoming a grandma. Last year, a little girl with soft wisps of hair entered my life, and this year, a little boy with a head full of bright red hair, and I am grandma to both of them. God has brought treasures into my life, but as I listened to the song my Tim McGraw, I know I still haven’t lived life fully.

As I heard, “I went sky diving, and rocky mountain climbing, and did two point seven seconds on a bull names Fumanchu”, I was acutely aware that I still have things to do. I have a ‘bucket list’ that I haven’t even started yet. I smile today as I think, yep; it’s time to start living like I was dying.

2 Comments:

At January 29, 2010 at 5:22 PM , Blogger Catherine A. Winn said...

Hi, great article. I see you changed blogs, I still have the old address. Are you going to be dropping that one called: Ramblings of a Joyous Old Lady?

 
At January 30, 2010 at 8:37 AM , Blogger kvsmm said...

No. Actually they belong together and I didn't know how to do that. The other one is still included with this one. Thanks for commenting!!

 

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