November 12...

As I'm writing this is in the early morning hours of November 13th I can see a picture of my father on a mantel in my living room. He would have been 74 yesterday but he barely made it to sixty.

After my brother died I told my remaining brother that in our family we have "big hearts but not good ones" and the shadow of these two early deaths, my father and brother, has become part of our life. A co-worker of mine is in her middle 50's and looks like she's in her late 30's with aunts and uncles well into their 90's but we can't seem to make it past 60, not my grandfather, not my father, and not my brother. And I suppose that even though I've inherited most of my genetics from my mother's and not my father's side, the clock is ticking for me as well.

Yesterday's reading for the morning prayers in the Orthodox Study Bible was Psalm 90 where the writer contemplates the brevity of life and asks God for the kind of wisdom that comes from understanding our days are numbered (v 12). I'm trying to learn this because that wisdom often comes at a very high price, a cost our family has incurred not once but twice.

I remember someone once joking about how religious older people were by saying "It's because they're cramming for final exams...". But the truth is that test is often a surprise test, a pop quiz that comes when we least expect it. The only way to be ready is to live as Christ would want and make every day count.

In a family full of bum tickers that's more than a platitude.

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