I was tempted to just delete the daily devotional from the Great Plains UMC Conference without opening it or reading it. After all, I was trying to cram four days of work into one day, while also ferrying Randy to the field three different times and trying to pack and plan for a 10-hour-plus road trip.
The reason I was trying to hurry was so we could leave to travel to South Dakota to be with Randy's brother, Lyle. Randy and his sister, Kathy, were informed that Lyle would enter hospice in Rapid City, South Dakota, on Tuesday, September 8.
But I clicked the devotional open midway through the day.
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
|For more photos from that 2018 trip, click here.|
It made me think of a quote from a book I finished the night before we left. This was near the end of the book, "The Ones We Choose" by Julie Clark. (I recommend the book, by the way.)
When someone dies, you can't help but think in terms of last times. The last time you talked with them, the last time you held their hand, the last time you kissed them. But we're learning that we never really lose those last times. They embed themselves in our genes to be carried forward, a quiet memory of people long since forgotten. ... They are there, in the silent rush of blood through veins, telling us what we need to know.From the conclusion to the novel, "The Ones We Choose" by Julie Clark
|Undated photos from Randy's scrapbook|
On the way to Rapid City, I asked Randy about some of his favorite memories of Lyle. As adults, they ended up making very different choices in life. So Randy's favorite memories are from childhood. He says he and Lyle spent hours using toy road equipment to make roads in a small sand pile between their home and the wash house.
He also remembers going to the Peace Creek bridge to meet their Hornbaker cousins who lived just a half mile away. There, they played in the creek and fished.
Both Randy and Kathy were able to visit Lyle and said their "last goodbyes" at the hospice in Rapid City, which is in a nice facility with a caring staff. We are thankful for their care in what we assume will be Lyle's last days here on earth.
Dear Lord, sometimes we need to be reminded in the darkness of our lives that we never walk alone as long as You are with us, guiding our steps into the uncertainty. Amen.
Prayer for Reflection (also from the same Great Plains Devotional)