Liminal Spaces

One farewell

One application to a new job

One engagement

Three deaths (one funeral)

Three birthdays

All in one week

No wonder I feel a bit like I’m reeling.

It’s been a liminal week (look it up… it’s one of my favorite words).

Sunday I stood by the bed of a saint (Mary) who was actively dying. (I have a wise friend who worked at a hospice for a while and noted that the reality of “actively dying” made her consider what it means to “actively live”. I found that to be true for me this week.) Mary’s daughter and son-in-law (two foundational and incredibly faithful members of my church), three women from my church (including our pastor), and I encircled her, sang to her, prayed with her, massaged her feet, wrapped her in love. It was one of the most humbling and sacred experiences of my life.

Also on Sunday I heard about the engagement of two lovely people. Tizzy and Joel, in a story that is funny in its foiled attempts at romantic-ness, got engaged in Cape Cod on Saturday. We all knew it was going to happen — we were simply wondering when. We don’t have to wonder anymore. They are a great couple!

Monday morning Mary died. She had been an incredibly wise and admired woman — a pastor’s wife, a co-director of Gould Farm, a matriarch of the town and the church — for a total of more than ninety years. She was ready to go, and her death was dignified and a blessed release. It will be hard for her daughter and son-in-law, who have devoted the last many years to caring for her. Prayers for Sally and Steve would be much appreciated.

Tuesday I found out that Monster Librarian’s (a former farmer) father died suddenly and tragically. I don’t know her father, and I am only beginning to know Monster Librarian, but I can only imagine a piece of what it must feel like to lose a father as a young adult. Prayers for her would be much appreciated.

Wednesday I said farewell to a good friend at the farm — TSOldtimer is headed off to magnificent adventures. Kudos to him for having the courage to journey onward and the faith that it’ll turn out alright (heck, maybe even splendidly!). And fooey on him for leaving. (And his birthday is coming — one of the birthdays I mentioned because I picked out his present this week.)

Today, after I got home from sending two birthday presents (one to my dad, one to a dear friend (part of my college brown box sisterhood) in Chicago), I applied for a different job on the farm that would put me assisting our nurse, essentially working second shift (perfect for me right now), working a more sustainable job and schedule, and joining the clinical team while still working side-by-side with my beloved resis. It’s a good change, but it’s also been a lot of domino-effect-type-stuff to think about — this will affect several people (not least of which being myself) in several ways, and I feel like I don’t even know the half of it yet.

Also today, I got an e-mail that said that one of the influential people of my childhood died at the age of 91. Brother John, another saint in my book, was a minister by personality who never stopped ministering (it simply wasn’t in his constitution not to minister). He was one of the people who knew of my sense of call to ministry early on. He was a respected leader in the district, known for speaking the truth in love. He will be missed.

Saturday is the funeral for Mary. I’ll play for it, and I find it an honor to be able to serve her and her loved ones in that way.

And I pray that next week will be a little more normal… I love the word “liminal” because I love liminal spaces… but, boy, do they take a lot of energy sometimes!

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