Sunday, August 05, 2007

Stop This Train, Thankful for the Ride

This is a picture of me and my Dad, circa 1967; I was nine years old. This train of life, its moving fast.

Mom is gone, and Dad is 87; he spends each day mostly sleeping. He really does not know much of what is going on around him; having dissolved into a world of dementia since my Mom's passing.

This has been an emotional weekend for me. My life is so full, and I rarely stop to recognize the weight of grace in my little world. And yet, I am not entirely satisfied. What in the world is wrong with me? Yesterday, I sat with my Dad, and listened to him attempt to piece together memories from 50 years ago.

And then today, we put our youngest girl on the bus to camp today. I held her in my arms as she walked out the door today, and said a short prayer. Something like, "Lord, thank you for Heather, go with her to camp, keep her safe, and show yourself to her in way she does not expect. Amen."

And so, one goes off to camp. One stays home, and was off to the beach today with friends; an emerging life of independence - the world ahead of her. My wife and I went to the park in town for a summer evening concert - a band called "The Grateful Dads"; a bunch of Dad's from town that can really rock the house, including the drummer Peter, who works with me at the office. My whole office staff showed up to watch Peter and his band play. I am surrounded by fun, amazing, and gifted people.

Across town, a friend lies in hospital after cancer surgery; a time to complete reassess all that is important in life. She has six children. We are hopeful for her recovery. This train, it just keeps moving.

Just the other day, I heard this song, playing on my daughter's IPOD. I dissolved into tears:

"Stop this train
I wanna get off
And go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly,
won't someone stop this train?

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said "help me understand"
He said "turn sixty-eight
You renegotiate

Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
And don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand John, honestly we'll never stop this train"

This is a song by John Mayer, a guy who is twenty years my junior, but who completely understands some of the mystery of this life.

I am thankful for this ride.

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