Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Time....


  Through the rows of stones he walks, stopping now and then to read more closely the inscriptions memorializing the lives of those buried in the rich dark Kansas soil. Some are long, some are short, both the inscriptions and the lives. He ponders this as he passes by row upon row, till at last he reaches his destination.
    His mind runs back through his life, growing up in a close family in a small town, marrying the girl of his dreams, who bore them a son and a daughter. He recalled the joy he felt at their births, the happy times they spent as a family~birthday parties, Christmases, holidays and vacations, and the love that had filled their lives these many years.
    As he reminisced, a chill came over him and set in his bones, and it wasn't just the crisp fall air. He thought about how precious life is and how swiftly the years had passed, and didn't understand how it could come to an end so soon. He began to feel bitter and angry with God for not granting him more time. More birthdays, Christmases, more hunts in the woods beyond the house. More time to live, laugh, and love.
    Angry tears began coursing down his now red cheeks and he strode down the hill towards home. As he reached the lane, his daughter met him, and silently reached for his hand. Holding her hand, he felt the warmth of their love as they walked. Her questioning eyes could not grasp his sadness, and words would not come to explain. For how do you explain dying to one who is just learning to live?
    Again the anger came. He reached for the bottle on the shelf, but instead let his hand come to rest upon a book. A Bible. His mother's Bible. How often had he watched her silently reading, searching for words of comfort in times of loss. He sat at the table and began poring over the Scriptures, looking for answers, finding peace. And he knew then that he would not travel this road of pain and grief alone.
    Once more he walked the path to the rows of stones, to that one special place under a stately oak and sat upon the limestone rock overlooking this final resting place. And finally, he let his gaze fall upon the stone before him, and read once more the inscription, still fresh and new, and short:

       Beloved son, brother and friend   
     For you our love will never end
       Sixteen short years you had with us
      Eternity now to spend with Jesus

As the fiery sunset blazed across the Kansas sky, he whispered to his young son a final good-bye.
                                                                                          ~Angel Andrewson 10-30-2002


In memory of Justin Barenberg   8/1986-10/2002

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