Thursday, April 1, 2010

last-ing

at our maundy thursday footwashing service tonight, our rector began his sermon by encouraging us to consider what we would do with our time if we knew, as Jesus did that thursday night, that it was to be our last on earth. with whom would we share our last meal? who would receive our last phone calls or emails? what would our last facebook status update be? (luke turned to me at this point and repeated the question to me directly. oh dear. time for a facebook hiatus, i wonder?) our rector also raised the question of what would be left undone: work incomplete, relationships undeveloped, plans left behind.

(what would my last blogpost be? i have no idea. but you can bet i was thinking about it.)

what the sermon did get me thinking about, though, was how eliza spent her last night. (disclaimer here: this was not at all what the sermon was about. sorry, dear rector. i did get the message, and it was a really good one. but i was thinking about this, too. and it's my blog, so...) it was a thursday, eliza's last night was, and although we didn't know it would be her last, we knew she didn't have many more ahead of her. and so, after luke went to bed that night, friends surrounded us and prayed. lots of friends visited eliza upstairs, where she labored through each breath in her heavily sedated sleep. i don't remember thinking it would be the last time these friends would see her, but i know now that many of them did realize it would be.

my house was not clean; my bedroom in which eliza slept was filled with visitors who no doubt had to step around piles of unwashed laundry just to get to her crib. i remember sitting on the end of my unmade bed explaining eliza's medical situation to people i could never have imagined inviting into my mess that way. i'm pretty sure i never even offered anyone anything to drink, and my guess is my kitchen was filled with dirty dishes. luke's toys almost certainly remained strewn around the living room.

but on that last night of her life, eliza was surrounded by people who loved her. sam and luke and eliza and i were all drenched in love and prayers, both from those around us in our home and those who couldn't be there but joined in our vigil from all over the world. as for what eliza was leaving undone--what was left undone all around her--it didn't matter. what was certain and true and good and important was Love. and that's all. i'm pretty sure i know how i'd answer my rector's question, then, because i'm pretty sure i experienced it that night. but for family and friends who couldn't physically be there--a regrettable and unfortunate consequence of distance and of the rapid nature of her decline--i think that eliza's last night had just about everything important in order. i'm not sure i could ask for more. and i am so grateful for that.

3 comments:

krista lucas photography said...

even if we couldn't physically be there with eliza in her last night, we were all with you in prayer and spirit. love you. xoxo.

TwoSquareMeals said...

So privileged to have been there with you that night, friend...and tonight, too.

Rebecca said...

We, too, are grateful to have been there. Thank you for inviting us into your lives.