A time to….

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To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; and more… for 6 more verses.   Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2

Yes, it is September already.  Didn’t we all just welcome in the new year?  Yet, enough time has passed this year already for a baby to be born.  Although it is not something I usually pay that much attention to, it was announced on Christmas weekend last year that a family member was expecting their second child.  And on August 22, little Evelyn was born.

Since it did not directly affect me, I did not take notice of the way time can sneak up on a person, and zoom past them, without as much as a thought given to the seconds – minutes – hours – days and months that pass us by so quickly.  To me, it was just yesterday when the “with child” announcement was made at Christmas and an immediate pic of the baby popped up on my i-Phone shortly after the birth.

Regardless, King Solomon from the Bible wrote a lot about life in his old age, and he was spot on with the verses shown above.  In fact, back in the 1960’s, Pete Seeger wrote (plagiarized from Solomon) a song entitled Turn, Turn, Turn that was a big hit in September of 1965 by The Byrds and later by Judy Collins, part of which is shown below”

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To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

When my own two miracle daughters came into my life back in 1988 and 1990, their growing up years lay in front of my wife and me and back then, the next 25 or so years seemed like eternity to be filled with unknowns by the box full.  From changing diapers many times a day to the pure joy of making the babies giggle, to learning to walk and talk and uncover the many challenges of learning in books and school, and seeing their world as days of discovery, time had a way of passing us by.  Before we knew it, there were dances and picking out dresses, and make-up for play and make-up for real, and the fun of being a kid and the pain of the hurts that no parent could prevent.  How can a dad stop a BFF from changing alliances and leaving his baby in tears?  One day they make the winning basket and the next they blow the match point in tennis.

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Sports, and report cards, and learning to drive and learning what drives a parent nuts and discovering that love does not mean that one is always going to be liked.  I remember the many times when I had to “be” a parent and not a friend that I would tell my girls that I love you always but I do not like what you have done or are planning to do.

Time – so much will happen over the next 20 years for Evelyn and sister Molly.  And that is the time to be born and all the other times to do things that are described by both King Solomon and Pete Seeger.  And sadly, there will come a time, unknown to all of us and recorded as both prophesy and ultimately as historical fact as we all pass through our allotted time here on earth, that our time to die will be upon us.  Without any mercy, or so we believe, and almost never with warning, we are all going to give up our spirit and leave those we love and need and cherish and laugh and cry with.

One day, we will die.  It is a reality that nobody reading this article can deny and yet many of us go into denial.  What!!!  Many of us think that pretending that we will live forever and that we can take care of funeral and cemetery arrangements somewhere down the line is in their control.  But in those quiet and sometimes scary moments of introspection, when we know that our days are truly numbered on this big blue ball that is sailing through space, we know…we know!  And it is those times that this author would like you to consider what happens right then, right after your soul has left your body….for those left behind.

making-funeral-arrangementsPre-needing one’s cemetery and funeral arrangements is not weird, it is not an invitation to the challenge the superstition gods, nor is it a silly thing to consider.  There was an old commercial that the narrator smugly said “pay us now or pay us later” which could be a  catch phrase for the death care industry.  Or, you could decide that you want to get what you want, with the budget you want to fall within, and take away all of the difficult decisions when a time to die comes and has your name on the work-order from heaven.

We prepare for all the things that might happen in our lives such as insurance for house, car,  health, and life and pray that we never need to submit a claim.  Yet, on the one thing that is an absolute, whether King Solomon or The Bryds  pens the words a time to die, many of us do not act for the benefit of those left behind.

Calumet Park Cemetery and its three funeral homes in Merrillville, Gary and Hobart/Portage have caring staff who will be happy to sit down and answer any questions you may have.  If it is a good thing for you to do, they can help you make your commitment to personal and family peace of mind by writing up a mutual commitment that lays out what you want your final wishes to look like with a price that is frozen in time, never to be a penny higher.  Call 769-8803 and see if you can eliminate some of the hidden fears that we all harbor concerning final arrangements.

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