Saturday, January 28, 2012

Join me for a chat . . .

Sometimes my brain feels as if it might explode. Thoughts, activities, projects invade my mind and I have trouble making sense of everything. There continue to be necessary business items to consider (i.e. like finally getting the car tag, etc.) and those are the things that were on "Tom's side of the ledger." Last year the IRS wouldn't allow my tax return to be filed electronically because they said Tom's number had already been used. Friend and CPA Jerri tried everything she knew to get to the bottom of that mystery; we hit a brick wall. Now, here it is time to accumulate all the stuff for 2011 taxes and I'm still waiting on resolution from 2010. Finally, not knowing what else to do and having put up with too many computerized messages, I called the tax payers' advocacy group. They promised help; we'll see. I've gotten exasperated with the lack of activity surrounding the offering of my house for sale, tried to e-mail the realtor and the e-mail was returned. What's up with that? I know I should perservere, but instead I curl up with a good book or play a word game on my Kindle--avoidance, big time.

Also, clammoring for brain time are thoughts about life and death. Too many friends seem to have gone too soon. Some have gone unexpectedly, like Jan Stone; some suffer what humanly seems more than what a person should bear, like a dear professor friend and his wife; some really loving, productive folks have their days of motherhood and productivity cut short. It is difficult not to ask: "Why?" Today I drove to Jackson to attend the service of a ninety-something friend who was the last of my in-laws' group. The service was simple and to the point. The minister spoke of Lucy's life and how she was a woman with a great sense of peace because she had found peace in Jesus. Her request of him was that he share that peace with those at her service. Hers was a life well lived, a life that was example for all who knew her.

During my college days a number of us affiliated with Central Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS. It is the place where Tom and I met and married, as had his parents before us. Lucy and her husband, the Suttles and several other couples adopted the college students and provided not only a church home, but opened their own homes to us on a regular basis. One of the men in that group mentored Tom in his law practice and invited Tom to be a part of his firm. How those couples impacted the lives of the students! Many of those students were there today as we paid tribute to Lucy--and remembered the "good ole' days."

Following the service, I drove to the cemetary where Tom and my mother are buried. There had been some unfinished business with the marker for his grave and I felt indignance rising. It's not like I could take my business elsewhere. A kind lady in the office gave me a map and directions and I spent between 20 and 30 minutes in a cool, brisk wind trying to locate Tom's grave. Mission accomplished. The marker was there with both our names, side by side--in life and in death. For some strange reason, I feel more a sense of closure. As I left, I was not sad. He is not there; he is rejoicing with the angels and, as always, he is in my heart.

While I was gone, the little girls had a picnic outside and Tommy helped fourth grader, Drew, with his science project--making a dill pickle glow. It seems I missed a lot by being gone a few hours. At Marty's house, this has been a week of birthday celebrations: Colin was 2 on Tuesday and Christopher turned 4 on Thursday. Colin's party was last weekend and Christopher's was to have been today, but the stomach bug arrived as an uninvited guest and his party has been rescheduled for tomorrow. I really miss a lot by being far away from them.

Tomorrow is worship, a day I love. It's great to be able to praise God with friends and to think of friends in other places who are doing the same.

Pastor Margaret

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