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I leaned against the wheel and took a deep breath.  The unusual silence in the car only enhanced the glittering joy in the heavens.  My stiffened feelings stretched out again as I assessed the uncertainty ahead, but the warmth in the atmosphere was assuring.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw my aunts entering the little hospital and I deftly grabbed my keys, phone and purse before I slammed the door shut and ran towards them in the crisp night air.

    Stilling my thoughts, I felt the pervading peace as I quietly stepped into the room.  Despite the weightiness of the moment, all present carried themselves with extra grace, as if to ease the discomfort of the loved one in their midst as his eyes fluttered in the effort to focus on nearby faces.  Feelings of insignificance drained to my feet as the warmth of value emanated through me.  The heightened emotions of each one present enhanced cognizant value of life, and I couldn’t help but make note of the way being surrounded by offspring at the launching of the rest of life is the reward for serving the future in early adulthood.

 I once felt I saw death eyeing me up but I didn’t really care.  The fear of it had been ripped out of me with the disappearance of my sister, but in losing the fear of death, I forgot the will to live.  I lost tenacity, I lost vision.  My vision cleared as my eyes blurred.  With gratitude, I reached for the weak hand that recognized touch and saw the sigh in his retracted face.  A knowing came over me and I spoke to the spirit of the man who gave life to my mother.  Sorrow for a moment, but not only sorrow, a strange emotion mingled with it as I thought of who was waiting on the other side of the veil, the thin, thin veil.  The message was brief but broke the floodgates.  I was jealous.  I could see them in my mind’s eye peering and waiting with joy while my tears fell.  It’s hard to stay sad in front of all. that. joy.

The drive home was a quiet one with kids sleeping and time to think.  I’m still surprised I have never analyzed why I care to live.  If it would be me, or the end of my long life, what would I leave?  I don’t have great skills or talents to offer the world if I stay, but jealousy robs the moment and I’d rather not lose what I have to jealousy.  Death’s backlash is that it’s existence provides purpose to life.  Resolve rose like a geyser with the last layer of resistance giving way to the strength acquired from seeing the end of the road.  Stars flew by and I was filled with the echoes of laughter and escalation of hilarity that seemed to follow her everywhere.  It’s not right that she’s not here being sad.  She’s not supposed to be waiting, she’s supposed to be with me.

Time goes on, and the daily tasks of life pulled on me as I waited to hear the news.  “Should I call or text?”  my mom said. With death expected, a text just seemed to casual.  “Call, I’d rather hear from a voice” I responded.  The water ran warmly over the strainer as I scrubbed the grime off.  Squeaky voices shrieked as they tore around the house playing tag, the latest trend.  Little ones with hearts to raise, gifts to grow and steward, and the phone rang.  “He’s gone,” my mother’s voice came clear.  “He slipped away when no one was looking”.  ‘He always liked being sly’ I thought to myself, and just like that, my Grandpa’s work was done.  One thought filled my heart.  

“It’s my turn to live…it’s my turn to LIVE…I’ll never have a chance like this again.”

Matthew 25:14-29

For it is just like a man going on a journey.  He called his own slaves and turned over his possessions to them.  To one he gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one-to each according to his own ability.  Then he went on a journey.  Immediately the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more.  In the same way the man with two earned two more.  But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.  

After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.  Look, I’ve earned five more talents.’

His master said to him, ; Well done, good and faithful slave!  You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Share your master’s joy!’

Then the man with two talents also approached.  He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents.  Look, I’ve earned two more talents!’

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave!  You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Share your master’s joy!’

Then the man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you.  You’re a difficult man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground.  Look, you have what is yours.’

But his master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy slave!  If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, then you should have deposited my money with the bankers.  And when I returned I would have received my money back with interest.  

So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents.  For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough.  But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.’