Buttercup (she of the noble prose) received a call this weekend that her father had collapsed. Rushed to the hospital and in ICU for Saturday and Sunday, they were informed on Monday that his body was starting to shut down and that it was time to turn the machines off and let him go. Since that time his body has struggled up and down and at the time of this update, the final outcome is still unknown.
I've never met Buttercup's parents; what I know of them I know only through how she acts and behaves (which is all good). I do know that this was not expected; as Otis related, "We knew his heart was not doing well but we didn't think it would be so soon." Soon - at 61.
But none of us know. That's the thing that hammered at my brain last night, that hammered at me when I got up this morning and sat in front of this keyboard. None of us knows the time of our passing - but we always act like we do:
- We plan our futures, financially and relationally, with what we will have in the future and where we will go and what we will do, not knowing if we will arrive at that future.
- We imagine a death in which we pass being able to communicate with our loved ones and making our peace with God, not knowing if death when it comes will be swifter than we imagine or so filled with pain and delirium that we cannot communicate.
- We put off the important of tomorrow for the urgent of today thinking that we can cheat priorities just this one time, only to find that there is a tipping point to such priorities that we never see until too late.
I have two requests of you as you go about your post holiday work week this week:
1) Remember Buttercup, Otis and their families in your prayers. Undoubtedly the outcome of this, whatever it will be, will result in layers of emotion and adjustment.
2) As you go about your day today, as you go about your plans for the future ask yourself "If I died right now, would I be ready? What three things would I leave undone?"
If you're not ready, both temporally and eternally with God, make yourself so. And then get on doing those three things. Because you never know.