Eternity Matters: AN HOUR IN THE GARDEN

By Norma Shull Smith

Mid-September, I was finally able to move into my home that I purchased in July. At a moment in life that should be exciting, it is all so bittersweet. For 53.5 years I’ve had my soulmate by my side. That is just over 19,527 days.
I recently set in the middle of my old flower garden on the one – year anniversary date of my husbands’ death, thanks to the current owner and my Pastor’s wife, for arranging that wonderful occasion. After about an hour of reminiscing, I knew I had to walk away and leave 18 years behind me. It is hard, because it was at our home that his spirit left his body and he finalized his last breath, not to mention the myriad of memories made in our home.
Dan and I always dreamed of being able for me to retire and to just enjoy some travels within the United States, as well as some day trips. We talked of selling the homestead, but the time never seemed right for us and little did I know that eventually, time would make the decision, but not in the manner we had dreamed.
In less than a week, my new place cametogether and I am making it my own. It has a new look, with a bit of what we had together mixed in. I know it will take some time to make the big adjustment. Dan and I moved 19 different times in our married years (most of those being when our kids were little.) He, at the time, worked for a mass appraisal firm and as contracts were signed, the men assigned to that contract went in and wiped them out and we were on to another location. With every move, I was bittersweet, because with each move we had to leave dear friends. I knew that with each move came newness and making of even more friends.
One thing I have learned over the years is the fact that if we don’t make a decision, time and or, unexpected events, will make the decision for us. So regardless of how difficult a decision is, it is always best to face it head on and choose what we want, because if the decision is made by time or the unexpected, the results may not be in our favor.
It is never good to be forced to move forward; it is always best to take those first steps and move on our own accord. In the Old Testament, Lot’s wife was warned not to “look back.” Wow is that a hard order to live up to. We are told in Philippians 3: 12 – 15 to forget that which lies behind and ‘press on.’ Does this mean to forget 54 years (with dating time) of my life? Does this mean to forget thinking about my husband? Of course not, but it does mean that to continue to fulfill the plan God has for my life, I need to refocus. I need to turn those years into gratitude and pick the things from it that have grown me and begin anew! No, my husband never realized our dream, yet as I refocus my way of thinking, we did! How we think is truly how we become. I canchoose to ponder on what we didn’t get to do, or be thankful for what we did!
No matter our circumstances, we can reach forward toward new goals andallow laughter, happiness to fill our souls, so when we part this life, there will be many happy memories. Eternity Matters!

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