Friday, March 24, 2017


It started with a text
“Hi dad, I’m buying my very first car from a dealership today...just need The Lord on my side, I’ve been distant from Him…I don’t want to be but I feel like there’s a wall holding me back. Yesterday my basement flooded, this morning I woke to no hot water…all I ask is that you say a little prayer for me that all goes well and I will continue to grow closer to The Lord again.”
There was more where I put the…things like her having everything in and when she started drifting away from Him…how these little things won’t get her down…and how she thinks buying this car will help her build her credit.
It’s just like her pretty blond self to say it all, like a fire hose, without taking a breath.
I took a deep breath…Car? flood? No hot water? Distant? Holding you back?...? 
I replied: "I love you Bug. I pray for you every day to grow closer to The Lord. Your text is an answer to my prayers."
She sent back a smiley face; an, I love you too, and a little red heart.
I wondered how she made that heart.
She asked about how mom and I were doing.
I told her I was teaching a weekly Bible Study and mom was watching Luke (our two year old grandson) every day and the three other grand kids  after school…So, on weekends we enjoy being able to sit and listen to the clock go, tic-toc.
“Ha ha! That’ s literally what I’m doing right now! This clock…”
She had a finger pointing up and an actual photo of a clock on the wall near her desk.
I laughed right out loud.
“But as the day goes on I don’t hear it (the clock) at all…” She went on to talk about how good it was for grand kids to hang out with their grandparents. “I only wish I had spent more time—” being the eternal optimist she added— “but, it’s still not too late.”
I said, “As long as you’re still ticking (tic-toc) or, thump-thump, thump-thump…it’s not too late”
“Yessss! Ha ha very true. Just like this clock. Some people forget about what really matters in life until they’re reminded it’s still there and not too late.”
I smiled. Just like that clock, I thought…but faster. Just yesterday, this young lady I’m talking to was my baby girl in diapers.
I looked out the window at our winter home. Surrounded by snow-birds in campers or winter mobiles; we live and work and laugh and play and become family. But, at the end of the season, one by one, we say good-bye…knowing full well, the odds are, that some of us, will never meet again.
I could see some of the campers in the process of packing—getting ready to head north. Some, I know, may go a little further than intended.
I thought of Charlie from across the street, we left him last season with barely a good-bye…I always thought I should try, one more time, to tell him more about Jesus. From my front door I can see the For Sale in his window. He won’t be needing a house anymore.
I glanced across the yard toward Red’s fifth wheel camper. As long as I can remember he and his three wheel bike, with a canopy over the top, were permanent fixtures of the park. You wouldn’t recognize him without a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Once, my daughter and I brought him a cucumber sandwich...brought one to Charlie that same day. I never really took the time to talk to Red, always thought I should; figured someday I would. 
The gal who mows the lawn found him, sometime toward the end of summer.
I shook my head and closed my eyes. When I did there was Roscoe, my friend; a WWII vet that kept me in awe with ninety-years-worth of stories. I remembered how, along about the end of August, I kept wanting to call and check on him, just to see how he was doing. I got busy. When I finally made it back to Florida and asked a mutual friend about him, she just looked at the floor and whispered, “Sometime toward the end of August, his daughter came in our office…and wept.” 
It was pretty hard to see when I typed my reply; knowing that sometimes, it is too late “as we see every year, when we return to this park and instead of old familiar faces we see For Sale signs and empty spaces. Each tic-thump might just be, the very last…”
Make the most of every hello and every good-bye.

iluvu & ipray4u

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