Friday, August 12, 2011

Eternal Moment #5: Walking Around Wilmore

Conclusion of this story series ...

Present Day.
Wilmore, Kentucky.

They walk around Wilmore at all hours, some in the early morning, most at twilight: the widows on my street.

Neil and I have lived here for a year now, since my marriage ended, since the time that I first started reassembling the shattered eggshell of my life. And on that very first day that I moved in, they were at my door, sharing eternal moments with me.

Two are across the street. One is to the left. The other is two doors down on the right. All widows. All at the end of their days. And all, walking around Wilmore.

During their walks, they wind up at my front door or on my car port that I recently transformed into a summer porch. One wants to walk my dog. Another chooses to "sit a spell" in a second-hand rocker that she'd given me. A third brings me homemade potato salad. Another knocks at the door to find out when Neil will be home, because her grandson is coming to visit.

They ask about Neil's school. They ooh and ah at the cats and the dog. They compliment the floral patterns on the porch pillows and take a whiff of a candle sitting on the antique table by the front door. They ask me how my mother is doing.

And then, they ask about me.

You'd think the poking and prodding of personal questions would put me off, but it doesn't. Maybe it's in their eyes. All of them search my face with compassion. All of them pat my hand, just like my grandmothers did. All of them nod sympathetically. All of them offer a hug when they leave.

That they walk around this tiny town, spreading their own version of joy to anyone who needs it, continually amazes me. I constantly wonder to myself, "Do their joints ache? Are they tired, unsettled? Do they wonder when their eyes will close for the last time and whether today is the last for breath in their lungs? Are they worried ... about anything?"

Because, you see, none of them seem to be worried. None of them seem to have a care. All of them bring with them a settled peace, a transcendent joy, a quiet presence that drench my soul just like burned skin absorbs aloe.

"We're glad you moved here," one says to me.

"I watch Neil through my window when he's on his skateboard," another offers.

Then the questions change.

"Do you ever think you'll find love again? Do you want to?"

"Are you happy? Can I pray for you?"

And then statements follow.

"You're strong. You'll make it."

"You're a good mom."

"You have so much to offer."

As they walk away from my home to theirs, I wonder ... do they know how much they encourage? Are they aware that they offer others the gift of eternal moments?

See, an eternal moment is so much more than an exchange of a thought, an idea, a debate, a song, a question.

It's about the connection.

It's about one person saying to another, "You matter. You matter to me, and you matter to God. I have your back. How can I lift you up?"

How many eternal moments do you have in your life? I've outlined five in this blog series, but truthfully, they are too many to count. I know one thing: those who have given me the gift of eternal moments are never forgotten. I bring their faces to mind and recall the way they made me feel in the darkest of days.

They become Jesus to me. They bring to me His solace, presence & hope.

So until we hit the other side of eternity, this is the question:

Am I willing to share eternal moments with others?

Are you?


  1. Me thinks, thou might be the one who first reached out to them...visiting on their porches, stopping to chat...sending Neil on over to swing lazily on their swings...and on and on. What wonderful friends old people are. 'Tis not the age of a person; 'tis the communion of kindred spirits. Intergenerational relationships work! What a wealth of experience from the old and what a joyful delight when the young share the wonder of busy, youthful lives nearby.

  2. I love the new pictures on this blog. Looks like my ole Kentucky home, for sure! The beach photos were great BUT the beach seemed so far away. Now, these scemes are what I see every day and I feel comforted.