Living Fully Every Day
If you are new to my blog, you may not know that I have a little 12′ x 12′ sanctuary up a circle staircase above my entryway. I spend the first hour there each morning with God and my cup of coffee.
My maiden name is DeAngeles (of angels) and my mother collected angels. Her collection, plus a whole lot more, are in my “Angel Room” with my menagerie of devotionals and crosses. You can feel the Holy Spirit alive and well in this quiet space. I read and study my Bible, enjoy Guideposts and other daily devotionals, pray for my family and friends (and even my enemies sometimes!). Then, with the Holy Spirit guiding me, I plan my day.
This morning in addition to:
- Go to TOPS and weigh in and promise again to be more self-controlled with my food intake, and
- Start exercising on a regular basis to be more fit and take off ten pounds, and
- Finish the laundry, I also wrote:
- Visit Carol.
I used to be a member of Senior Companions of Montana, volunteering through the Rocky Mountain Development Center. I was a senior companion to Carol for many years before she needed full-time care and was able to have helpers with her in her home everyday. She lived about eight miles out of town on a scenic dirt road. Her log house is at the base of the majestic (but right now smoky) Madison Mountain Range. With her daily helpers, she still lives there. Carol is 95 years young!
After my TOPS meeting at the medical center, I intended to drive out to see Carol, but one of her care givers was walking toward me as I was headed for my car. After a brief hug and the usual pleasantries, I told her where I was headed.
“Oh, you don’t need to drive out there,” she explained. “Turn around and go back in. Carol is in the medical center.”
I learned that she had been in the hospital for nearly a week. No wonder the Holy Spirit was prompting me to venture out and visit! (In fact, I wrote a blog last night called “Venture Out!”) God was speaking to me when He inspired me to write about doors and gates that swing both ways! Don’t let them keep you inside. Don’t lock yourself out of the blessings you are meant to give and receive!
Carol’s face lit up when I walked in. It was a joy to see her. We chatted about her recent birthday, the family who came from far and near to celebrate with her, and about our trip this year to visit our daughter and grandkids in Switzerland. I shared that one of my grandsons may come to live with us for a time – and how Bob & I look forward to sharing life with him for awhile.
I told Carol, “With eight decades of living under our belts, we find joy in sharing some of the pearls of wit and wisdom we’ve picked up along the path.”
I asked Carol if she would share some of her life lessons with me. I don’t think I was prepared for the depth of her sharing. But, as soon as she began, I knew I was in for a treat. I grabbed a paper and pen and asked her if she would mind if I took notes. Carol used to be a writer, too … but she finds it hard to set pen to paper these days. So, knowing I love to write, she grinned widely, and nodded.
“Here are some things I have learned as I’ve grown older:
- Life softens.
- Things aren’t so urgent.
- I can fall in love at all ages.
- Life constantly changes – be open!
- It takes judgement to realize the possibilities life holds.
- We’re happier if we count our blessings.
- Our lives become more dimensional with years.
- Love is huge!
- We all must take responsibility for ourselves and our actions.
- Life comes together in a natural and beautiful way.”
I read her list of life lessons back to her – choking up more than once in the process of doing so. Such wisdom! Such articulation!
“I want to be you when I grow up,” I told her. “I hope I can learn and internalize those lessons as beautifully as you have done.”
Carol and I hugged – and as I left her, she called after me, “It all comes down to living fully every day.”
I love you, Carol!