Living Spartan-like

My sweet Granny passed away a week ago Sunday.  While it was peaceful and expected it has still been difficult.  She was fiercely loved by many people.

We all sit there in dark colors. We cry at her loss and laugh at her many wonderful idiosyncrasies.  This is hard.  But it’s beautiful: a life remembered, a life celebrated.  She did so much during her time here and touched many lives.  The list goes on and on as we recall all the ways she has served God, her church, the community, and her family.

Death has a way of making you think differently.

Later in the car, I think about the eulogy and I begin wondering what people will say about me when I die.  What will I be remembered for?  Will people say I did something that mattered?

A week later I sit with dear friends around a table.  We drink wine and laugh, we make crafts and messes and memories.  And again I remember how I’ll miss 30th birthdays and babies born, weddings and more nights like this.  And the snarky remarks come out of my mouth and I take my grief out on these loved sisters.

I drive home, somber, quiet.  And I ask Him the question I’ve asked a thousand times…  “Is it worth it?

I remember Thoreau’s words: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived..  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…”

My grandmother lived deliberately, fully.  When she came to die all who knew her could attest to the fact that she truly lived.  She was a Spartan.  I want to be a soldier too; to cause that which isn’t life to retreat in defeat.

Thoreau took to the woods; I see the jungle before me.   It beckons me to live deeper, to suck all the marrow out of this life I’ve been given.  Sometimes that comes with sacrifice, but also joy, and I conclude once again that yes, it’s worth it.  I know I’ll still mourn the birthdays missed and the babies I won’t see until they’re toddlers, but I hope that when I come to the end of my life I can say I lived without regret, that I lived like a Spartan.  And so I pray to live without fear, to walk boldy into this destiny, to discover more of life and to live it.

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