Friday, November 17, 2017

When We're Ready . . . or Not~

I never really knew
just how ready he was
until today.

One year, nine months, and thirteen days -
this is how long it has taken me
to get up the heart
to tackle emptying out
my husband's truck.

And by emptying out,
I mean that in every sense of the word.
You see,
my man's truck wasn't just a form of transportation,
it was his own personal, small, on-hand storage center.

This Chevy with an extended cab
was jam packed with all the things
that made him, him.

A Bible (the very first one he ever owned)
Sunglasses
Axes
Toothpicks (he always had one in his mouth)
Matches
A pine cone
Binoculars
A can of Fix a Flat
Cards from me
2 camou caps
A tarp
Toolkit
Emergency Kit
Toothpicks (he loved toothpicks!)
Trinkets that belonged to his mother
Forest Service maps
A bottle of automatic transmission fluid
Protective eye wear
Flashlight
Small bottle of cologne
2 hunting jackets
Rope
Filled water bottles
Toothpicks (have I mentioned toothpicks?!)
2 small saws
Shovel
Pop up chair
Can of WD-40

To name just a few.

Yes,
opening the door and climbing inside today
was like stepping inside a museum of my man.

As I tenderly removed each item
I thought back to
hunting trips,
fishing trips,
and woodhauling trips,
where inevitably,
each time before he drove out of the yard
I always asked,
"Are you sure you're ready?
Do you have everything you need?"

"Yes, Beautiful.  I'm ready.
Trust me. I'm more than ready.
I've got everything I need."

And, I did trust him.

But, today,
as I laid hands
on all that showed he was ready,
I truly knew it to be so.

My man had been ready.

And, I couldn't help thinking back
to past conversations I had overheard
as my love spoke on the phone with his father,
who was in his 90s.

"Your bones hurt?
And, you want to go to the doctor to find out why?
Here, I'll save you some time and money.
You're old.
That's why your bones hurt, Pop.
{Insert his throw back your head
and laugh with everything you have laughter here}
It's just part of life.
My bones hurt and I'm not anywhere close to 90!
No - when my time comes,
I'm ready.
Anytime God wants,
trust me,
I'm more than ready."

And, I don't know if his Pop trusted his words,
but I did.

And, I couldn't help thinking back
to that night
one year, nine months, and thirteen days ago.

When a call from him
while I was at my office
found me driving home at record speed
only to walk through the front door
to the sound of silence.

I'll never forget that moment -
the moment I saw him lying
motionless in our hall bathroom.

And, I'll never forget his face -
a face radiant with the joy of the Lord,
a face filled with peace,
so much peace.

As I knelt down beside him
and tenderly held him close,
I laid hands
on all that showed he was ready,
and I truly knew it to be so.

"Yes, Beautiful.  I'm ready.
Trust me. I'm more than ready.
I've got everything I need."

And, he did.
For He had the one
who died that he might one day live again.

He had the blessed hope
of life everlasting with Jesus, our Lord.

My man had been ready.

And, I couldn't help thinking about me,
in that moment.

My man knew he was ready,
but me,
I didn't know I was, -

ready to be without him,
ready to do life alone,
ready to be a me after being a we,
ready to face all that was up ahead,

but,

when I least expected it
and the time came,
in that very moment of not being ready at all,
not one bit ready,
my already-trusting-God-with-my-life heart
reached out and laid hands
on all the promises of God,
and I trusted HIM.

I believed HIS word.

And in that moment,
and in every moment since,
I have truly known HIM to be so.

One year, nine months, and thirteen days,
and my God has been with me every second of the way.

Just like He was today,
as I,
in one more tear-dropping way,
let go of what was -
all the while
holding on even tighter to
what one day will be.











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