Today’s task: “Write about one thing you’ve never told anyone and explain why.”
You’re kidding, right?? I mean, if I haven’t told anyone by now, there must be a reason, right?? And I should come out of the closet, why??? (Not that I have any deep, dark secrets, particularly. But if I did, I certainly wouldn’t choose to blog about them!!!!!) If ever there was a non-starter for a topic, this is it.
However, there was a bonus topic: “If you only had an hour to live, what what you do with those 60 minutes?”
I would probably write notes to all the people I could fit into that 60 minutes: to my children, my husband, my sister, if I could cram ’em all in. Lots of people think of Christianity as irrelevant, silly, superstitious, a power trip for a control freak…fill in your own blank. And it can be all of the above.
But when it’s done right, one of the things it brings home most forcefully is that you actually never know when your last breath will take place. Some of my readers will recall that this past September, a well-loved Russian Orthodox woman of 38 died in her sleep. She was little-known outside the Orthodox community, but among those who did know her, her loss came as an enormous shock, and as a wake-up call for many — me among them. I’ve always been aware that my last breath could come at any time, but — what if it was my daughter, just three years younger than this woman?!
My daughter and I are estranged, not of my doing, and what her problem is, she won’t say. She just doesn’t communicate at all, outside of obligatory cards. So I talked to two priests about it, and now I write notes once a month, just keeping her up to date on our little corner of the world. At the moment, it’s all I can do, but it’s a way of being prepared for that moment when one of us will “cease to be upon this earth.”
The other thing I do is keep a journal. Actually…if I had any secrets at all that I’ve never told anyone, they’re in my journal. A lot of my frustrations are recorded there, struggles, reactions to sermons and to life in general — all there. But if I only had an hour to live, I have the luxury, thanks to that journal, of being able to spend it writing notes to the people I love, not having to scramble around trying to cram all my accumulated “wisdom” into one hour.
Not a bad way to go.