Saturday, November 19, 2005

Goodbye, sweet boy

There is something universally tragic about the death of a child. And it doesn't matter how old the "child" is, in the scheme of life it just seems very wrong for parents to outlive their offspring. It's not how it is "supposed" to be.

But it happens every day.

Yesterday we said a final goodbye to Jonathan. This little boy was born with severe handicaps, lived a good portion of his life in the hospital, and died just a few weeks before his second birthday. He was loved by many people. His mother and father, troubled by many things in their lives having nothing to do with their son, loved him and took care of him as best they could.

My faith tells me that for the first time, Jonathan is now laughing and playing and has no pain. I imagine him in a playground being pushed on the swings by my Daniel, who in many ways never grew up. I'll bet Jesus has his hands full with the two of them up there!

Human life is both miraculous and fragile. None of us knows when ours will be over. None of us knows how long we have to live the life God intended. But every single life, no matter how long, has a purpose.

Perhaps the purpose of Jonathan's short life was to expand our capacity to love.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The longest summer

Twenty seven years and four months after my graduation from high school, I have enrolled for college. I start classes in January. Even for a world-class procrastinator like myself, this one is a doozy!

Depending on how much work I can handle, I should get my degree in 8-10 years, God willing.

Several of my nieces and nephews are working on the choosing and getting into college thing right now. There are a lot of factors in play when making these types of decisions. When I was their age, college was not a priority for me. We didn't have the money, for sure. But if I really, really wanted to go I would have figured out a way.

Back then you could get a pretty good job without a degree. But now, not having that degree has seriously limited my options. About 99% of the job listings I read have a degree requirement. Hence my adventure as a middle-aged college student begins.

My advice to you, dear ones, is to continue with school. Whether it is full time, part time, away from home or close to home, online, whatever. Work toward that goal of a degree, even if it's going to take a long time. It will be worth it.

And if your parents are paying, be very grateful. Lots of us never had that opportunity. And if you cannot go to the college of your choice, compromise and make the best decision you can. You never know what God has in store for you. Maybe your fifth-choice college is where you will meet your destiny.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Laundry Lesson

If you go to a coin laundry, here's a valuable tip from me:

Make sure you have your quarters before you fill the machines and dump soap on your clothes!

Last night for the first time since I moved to my new apartment building, the change machine in the laundry room was malfunctioning. It would not take my $10 bill. I found another $10 bill and it would not take that one either. I ended up going across the street, in the rain, to the store to break the $10. I didn't want to buy any food, so I bought a lottery ticket. Luckily, the machine then took my singles and fives. I don't know where I would have gotten quarters if the machine was totally broken.

Anyway, here's the bright side. If I win the $165 million lotto tonight, it will only be because the change machine malfunctioned. Then I can hire somebody to do my laundry!