I know my mother and grandmother would always talk about putting flowers on my great grandparent's graves. Family members who had passed on would be talked about. It was a day we remembered all of those who had passed on before us not just the people in the military.
This weekend we went to Carl's dad's grave. Someone, we think the VA possibly or another group, had put flags on every gravesite in the Veterans' section of the cemetery where he is buried. The scenery was beautiful, and I was just so glad he was there in such a beautiful spot.
I went exploring around which is what I like to do when I go to a cemetery. I like to see the death dates, the marriages, and the inscriptions on the stones. It is a glimpse into the lives of the people that are there.
I came around a tombstone and there 3-4 feet directly in front of me was a coiled up rattlesnake, rattling, hissing and ready to strike. I froze for a split second to register what I needed to do. Without even thinking about it, I concaved my chest and stomach, arched my back, flanked both of my arms along my sides and backed away slowly. One slow step at a time. I wonder in hindsight if I was trying to defend my kids who were somewhere behind me.
I called to the kids to stay back. Lauren thought I was telling her to stay away from a big bee, because she could hear what she thought was a buzzing sound. Nathan did come around to see it too. Talk about an adrenaline rush.
It has been a very interesting week for me. I saw a dear friend have an accident where I had to call 911. I walked up within a few feet of a rattlesnake. This week has really shaken me up. It really has reminded me how quickly life can change, how life is fragile, and how much I take it for granted.
I take for granted I am going to be ok when I get in the car. I take for granted I am going to be ok when I walk around the cemetery. I take for granted I will live to see another day. I take for granted that I will live a long life when maybe that will not be true at all for me.
Today in the car as we were driving home, Carl and I couldn't help but think about those who have passed on before us and talk about it. Carl said, "Do you know we have seen a generation and a half pass on since we have been married?" Then he said emotionally later, "Unless we die together, one of us will be without the other."
It is sad, when I think about what that means for me in this life. I can't even go there in my mind. However, what really matters is where we stand with God in the end. That is what is eternal. So, we better be ready and be right with God.
Hug your family tonight and truly know that you are blessed to have them. Pick up the phone and ask for forgiveness if you need to set a relationship right today. You might not have tomorrow to do it. Tell your parents everything you would want them to know or want to say to them. As someone who has done this, I can't tell you how much peace this has given me. Don't take your loved ones or your health for granted.
"In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."
Job 12:10, NIV