Standing in the kitchen this morning, waiting for my rotini to finish cooking, I looked out the back door and saw Bernie sitting on the patio, his legs on one of the footstools I made this past year, his hands gracefully wrapped around his Bible, a blue scrub jay standing in his lap.
The morning was so sweetly quiet, without the thrash of horrid winds or the intrusive blare of lawn equipment. There were the sounds of birds, and of the click and bubble of macaroni salad being prepared for the afternoon meal.
My husband was near at hand, his face glowing with peace, communing with the Word of God and nature.
There is no amount of money that can buy the richness of joy that I felt watching him, knowing he would be here all day, knowing that he wasn't going to have to risk his life and our happiness in that damnable Mad Max melee of his former commute to the Bay Area.
We believe we have the monies available to live comfortably into our 80's without us having to take a crack at re-employment. Probably we have enough to live austerely into our 90's. Wow. Real retirement is really here.
I'm glad he's home for good. There was not a single day in 36 years that I wished he would get his ass off to work and get out of my hair. NOT ONE.
The only darkness that whispers evil in my ear is the voice that says, "What about health insurance? You can't afford much any more ... you are going to die if you don't have health insurance!"
An icy dagger stabs at me. I'm going to die if I don't have health insurance! This is when I realize that against my rational will, against my determination not to become a witless consumer led by the nose by advertising, I have indeed been indoctrinated by this media society to believe that Blue Cross, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, whatever -- will make me immortal and I won't die.
It's not that I'm against health insurance intellectually; it was a great idea for two barely-twenty-somethings back in the day when health insurance was affordable. But now -- good Lord, the premiums are obscene! One month's health insurance = three months of groceries for the whole family.
In spite of the commercials and the hype, none of those health insurances mean that I won't drop dead in my tracks tonight, or tomorrow, or next week, or five years from now. It's a gambling game, not a guarantee. And if there's one thing that has been a tenet of my whole life, it is that I will never bet on anything but a sure thing.
Here's the sure thing: I am not immortal; I am going to die. I can bet on that.
What do I have to ante up to win that bet? Why, nothing at all.
If that is a darkness in my life, I have to remember the God Who illuminates each day, and Who promises that the life after this one will be even better. I have to remember that this life is practically an illusion of Life.
The shadows must remind me that the Light was there first, and that when all shadows are gone, the Light will still be endless.