perder la vida

Learning to Live Missionally and Mindfully

on death and grief January 25, 2009

Filed under: family,jesus,ME — Katie @ 7:27 am

There are certain emotions that people feel obligated to express on a day like this, when they say a public farwell to their loved one. As I hunted for a song to sing at the service, I couldn’t help but be repulsed by the lackluster selection. All the songs I came across said things like "I don’t know how I’ll make it without you," "Life will be hard until we’re united again…" and other melodramatic statements. I completely understand that coping with death is difficult – my family is no stranger to death, grief, and suffering. But, I am almost ashamed that we, as Christians, tend to have such a depressing disposition when it comes to death. Heaven is a promise for those of us who choose to follow Jesus. I am looking forward to spending eternity there. But, I’m on earth NOW for a reason. My granddad lived that way. He knew heaven was waiting, but he was ALIVE while he was here and he soaked up every moment.

I am being a bit cynical… mainly because this is the fifth funeral my family has held in the past two and a half years. Maybe I have become hardened to grief, making it difficult for me to understand other people’s pain? Whatever it is, I just know that… yes, this time in my life is hard. My granddaddy and I were buds. I adored him, and he adored me. He adored all of us. But, death is not the end. Jesus conquered the grave. If I am going to believe it, then I must claim it and live it. My granddaddy lived an amazing life… filled with drama, heartache, second chances, laughter, and the strongest will to survive that I’ve ever seen. Even when the doctor "predicted" that my granddady only had a few hours to live, he held on for nearly two more days. The man did not want to die! He was not afraid of death, but just so in love with life that he wasn’t ready for it to end. That, my friends, is how I want to live. Not afraid to die, but so in love with life that I don’t want it to end. Because, it will never end… it will just begin again.

And that is something worth living for.


while you were sleeping…. January 20, 2009

Filed under: delerium,family,ME — Katie @ 7:50 pm

After my dad was in a coma in 2000, he woke up telling some really funny stories from dreams he had while he was sleeping…. Apparently at one time I wrote them down intending to make some goofy song for my dad. I never really put it all together, but when I read this… I laughed. These are things he really said! I just had to share.

while you were sleeping
you made some funny faces
but nothing could prepare us
do you know who i am?
i’m a mexican movie star
i’m really quite thirsty
from eating all these sandwiches
could you please attend to me
and get me out of this mess
i’m tired of being in this bed
i’d like to get up and walk around
so please go to the nurses station
and grab me another gown
i’ve been alseep for far too long

… and apparently, I jotted this down, too:

we don’t argue anymore
about monday night television
an agreement was made
that for one night, we’d make revisions
and every monday night
of every week
we watch super stars
like undertaker get beat
how could you be so fun?
i used to think you were dumb
but now i look forward to your program
dad and i really love the ring

I love silly memories like these!!



every moment January 18, 2009

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 8:12 am

So much to do, so little time. Homework to start and finish, books to read, movies to see, friends to catch up with, work to be done, budgets to balance,  music to listen to, exams to study for, clothes to wash, classes to attend, places to visit, subjects to learn, food to be discovered, coffee to drink, goals to accomplish…. the list goes on and on.

But when you take time to watch your loved one sleep peacefully as he fades into another world, you realize that there is no other place you’d rather be.

The time is drawing near when final goodbyes will be made and memories will be all we have left. But for now we have each other. One thing I have learned through my granddaddy’s final battle with cancer is that we have lived the past few years as if he were dying and that we should live that way regardless of impending death or dire circumstance. We made every holiday a special one, every birthday memorable, every conversation cherished, and every "I love you" echoing into eternity. What if we lived this way forever? What if we made every moment count? What if we let go of our attachments and our fear and simply… lived? What would that look like?

It would not look like a never-evending to-do list. That’s for sure.


life goes on January 15, 2009

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 4:23 pm

I don’t know how to say this more simply: 




All fifty something of them. 



life goes on

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 4:23 pm

I don’t know how to say this more simply: 




All fifty something of them. 



where you least expect it January 1, 2009

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 8:18 am

When I think about what I was doing this time last year, it’s hard to comprehend how my life could be the way it is now. This time last year, I made a major life decision that changed the entire course of my life. It was ridiculously difficult, but I knew that I needed to be single so I could pursue the dreams God gave me. Becoming single has been the greatest gift I could receive this year. Not that I didn’t enjoy being in a relationship or love the person I was in a relationship with, but I can say withfull honesty that I have found so much satisfaction in my singleness that I didn’t have before.

Before, I was just waiting for my life to begin. I was planning for a wedding and for a future that didn’t include the dreams and goals God had placed in my heart to accomplish. I was planning a life of "just getting by" – thinking that’s what I was supposed to do. Now I’m thriving in my singleness and soaking up every minute of my life now. Instead of living for the future, I’m living for the present and that’s a good feeling.

I have learned (the hard way, of course) this year that when God tells you to do something, you should just do it! Sometimes this means looking crazy – like moving back home the week before classes were supposed to start. I am not in love with Tuscaloosa, but I am in love with my life in Tuscaloosa. I am in love with my life, period.

So, this was the year that I finally found the life I was looking for. It was the year Kaley and Chris got married and the year Mollie and Jarrod made a baby. It was the year my mom moved into a beautiful house where we can build new memories. It was also the year my grandmother died and the year my cousin Jonathan was killed in a car wreck. It was another year of chats with my granddaddy and the year I got even closer to my cousins. This was the year I lived with a complete stranger and then with my best friend (and then with my mom!). This was the year I grew, changed, was restored and renewed, and given a fresh spirit. This was the year I gained an overwhelming number of new friends. This was also the year I beat Guitar Hero. Too many good things to mention.

I took a look at last year’s new resolutions and I think I did pretty well. I definitely kicked butt in my classes at Montevallo and I think I did alright this semester at Shelton – I still have two incomplete grades from being so sick at the end of the semester. I didn’t get to travel to Chicago or New York, but I did go parasailing. Haha, that counts for something, right? I have been able to do more of the things I love… I have heard a choir and saw a play this year, too. I’m singing at Vineyeard and I also got to take voice lessons, a yoga class, and have spent more time at the gym… things I adore! I also think I have learned how to embrace life fully… although I’m still learning. I have definitely come to see how powerful living in the moment can be and I’m learning that I’m here now for a reason and should therefore be mindful of the present. One of my other challenges was to to read at least 16 books this year and to keep up with them. Once again, I didn’t keep up with them the way I wanted but I definitely have read more this year than I did the year before. So, here’s to reading even more in 2009!

So what do I want to accomplish in 2009?

1. Start UA and work towards my degree (obviously) and towards getting accepted into Teach for America
2. Pay off my car loan!!!
3. TRAVEL! Even if it’s just to NC to see Alisa!
4. Draw boundaries (and stick ot them) with the way I spend my time and energy.

I’ve learned this year that joy is where I least expect it but that it’s hidden in all the right places. I have enjoyed watching my life change and although I am always uncertain of what will happen next, I’m ready for it! Bring it on, 2009!