Famous Last Words (Discernment, remember, can take some time.)

In a few days, I am scheduled for a big surgery to correct issues arising out of long-untreated thyroid disease (probably autoimmune Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), complicated by (probably) Cushing’s Syndrome.

When I say big…. well, a friend smaller than me had a similar surgery; her incision went across her front and around her back, too, within about three inches either side of the spine.

My mileage may vary, but it will be at least a 30″ incision, if not the full 50+ inches it could be. Ouchies???  …I do not know any part of anyone’s anatomy that wants a slice quite that long, just for fun. I have given this all to the Lord. My plan is to enjoy my pain meds, do some good healthy crying in the arms of people who love me, and pray out loud with sung devotions that will keep my throat open (and thus my healing body relaxed).

While I will certainly take every chance to keep living on this planet awhile longer, I also need to respect that yellow light shining up ahead, and think with some caution…. It’s a surgery with reasonable risk, but there is some risk. So! I’m getting my house in order.

Greg and I chose long ago where we want our remains to be parked, after our spirits leave this earth. We made the choice based on what we would like visitors to see if they only came, once, to this place that has been so important in our lives– a place we would want them to spend a few minutes soaking up, if they never made it to this amazing community during our lifetimes.

So part of my late Mom’s bequest is going to pay for that spot we chose, and in due time people will know what we chose.

But I can offer a sneak preview of the epitaph you should see on my side of the headstone: “Oh SHIT! She was RIGHT!”

One of my oft-recurring roles in life has been to speak God’s truth in moments when someone needed to hear them in actual, voiced words. Most often the hearer has not been able to believe them till some time has passed. My epitaph is partly about that, as you, dear reader, will see if and when you visit that spot….

But I chose the sentence mostly out of one last desire to speak a truth of my own, not God’s… and that is, that whatever did not make sense about me did make sense to me, and had a perfectly reasonable explanation people simply failed to consider. Once I pass, I’m betting that other people will realize that. Hmmm… maybe that is God’s truth. I dunno…. discernment, remember, can take some time.

If you get to that spot and you want to know more, check out a couple/four movies: The King and I, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Wizard, and The Juggler.

I was so influenced by the first two. You can see my vocation right in there.

The second two reflect my adult sense of the young person I was– a wizard and a juggler– who no adult in my life saw then. (Discernment, remember, can take some time….)

And discernment toward a diaconate can take some time, too. The book (not the movie) Portrait of Jennie is a good descriptor for how mine has gone, and may continue to go.

How’s yours going?

~Susan

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