A Lifespan for All Things

I relaxed before the Christmas tree last night for the final review of my 2015 goals, my homage to our Fraser Fir before I stripped it for the burn pile.

             Dear Reader, I fell 50% short of achieving my heart’s desires for the past twelve months. This is my worst record since I began setting goals in ink over thirty years ago.
             In search of explanations, I scrolled the list line by line with my pen, recalled my intent for each personal and professional objective. Clarity overcame disappointment as I realized circumstances out of my control had rendered my ideals unrealistic.
From January through September, the exodus of family members and friends from this earth consumed my mind, heart, and time. This season of loss called for grace, comfort, and healing for my family and me.
Goals must be flexible, corrected in times of need, I reasoned. Furthermore, I no longer wanted all I aimed for January past. Yet, more difficult to face were the failures due to my lack of resolve and discipline. I rolled those goals over to a shorter list for 2016.
Try, try again.
You see, a childhood memory drifted into my dreams recently with a solemn reminder of life’s brevity. Not necessarily the result of bedtime gluttony, I’m convinced dreams are often messengers. They may come from our deepest desires and fears to inform, correct, and direct us. Often, dreams behave in flashbacks to reveal what’s eating our soul.
Such is the scene of the day I raced home from school, arms full of books, and found new wall-to-wall carpet on our living room floor. I fell to my knees, rolled on the gold rug in bliss while Mom laughed in the kitchen.
Like a visitation from Dickens’ Spirit of Christmas Past, I woke from the dream and remembered my wedding day, dressed in my gown, veil, and shoes too small. Our living room carpet had lost its glamor, an eyesore the photographer discreetly avoided to my mother’s relief.
After forty-six years, that old regret for Mom’s hardship still lodges in my chest. She sewed my wedding trousseau and my four sisters’ bridesmaid dresses, roasted the chicken and baked the light rolls for my reception, all without a dime from Dad or her love-struck daughter.
After Mom passed, I folded my hot pink, floor-length taffeta bridal robe and let it go to Salvation Army. If ever I doubted my mother’s love for me, that handmade garment alone dismissed the notion with its 70’s style pointed collar.
Blessed be God for the memory of these precious things under Heaven! Their power lives past the fire pit, resale store, and landfill.
I now understand we plan for the future because we love people and life, know every earthly thing has a lifespan. What truly matters is what we leave to immortal, redemptive memory.
For every destructive thing, we may offer a treasure to encourage our kind to faith, hope, and charity.