The Last Journey

   I was driving home yesterday after a short trip away. In El Dorado, KS a funeral coach turned at the stoplight where I was waiting. I followed the coach over 100 miles, clear to Pratt, KS where it turned north and I lost sight of it. I pondered the white coach as we journeyed along Highway 54. I could tell there were two individuals in the front seat visiting as I could see hand gestures and an occasional head nod or shake. In the rear of the coach was the casket with a floral spray on top and flowers by the side window as well.
   I am not sure where their journey began nor where it ended, but as we journeyed along separately together, I pondered the things of life and of death. I wondered about the one who had died through the lens of my own experience, and all of those throughout my journey who have taught and encouraged, shaped and molded, lived and loved me along the way. They all made the same journey the silent one in the car ahead of me was making in that moment.
   In some sense, even though we have faith, even though we have hope, this life and death we journey through is a mystery. We begin somewhere as we are born into the arms of grace, and we make that final journey to be laid to rest where we are not conscious of. To be a little cliché[y], yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow will never be … so to speak.
   It was a feeling not unlike anytime I journey to the final resting place of those I serve; it is an honor and a privilege to escort them on that final trip. I hope and pray this one whose last journey I was aware of made a difference in their corner of the world. That somehow, some way the world was a little better, a little brighter, that someone some place has been touched with a bit of love and grace because of this one’s life.
   I pray someone might say the same of me as I make that last trip to wherever I will be laid to rest. That somehow, some way the world was a little better, a little brighter, that someone some place has been touched with a bit of love and grace through my life. It is all any of us has much control over, the here and now, in this time and in this place. If you didn’t take the time to share love and grace yesterday that is gone, if you wait until this final journey it is too late.
   Take some time now, in the moment you read this to call someone, a friend, a family member, a teacher, a loved one and just say thank you, or I love you, such use of the moment is never wasted.

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2 Responses to “The Last Journey”

  1. Becky Says:

    I don’t think I ever told you this, but thought this post was the perfect opportunity to tell you something. You have made a huge difference in my family’s life. You are such a friend to my dad, and I remember one time, sitting at the Emergency room entrance after a very hard time with him and suddenly you were walking up the drive. I knew that it was going to be ok as long as you were with us. I think you were sent to be our angel that day. I cried, cussed, and you never even flinched at my blubbering words and tears. You just listened and never judged.
    Thank you. For just being you. For always being there for us when the rain clouds come in front of the sunshine. You always have a way to help us back to the sunshine.
    Becky Bruckner

  2. Teresa Jellison Says:

    I know I thanked you for being with our family when we needed you the most. After reading your latest blog, I want to thank you again. You shared with us the deepest darkest time of our lives and the miracles that followed. You brought us through all of it with your kind and gentle presents. You truely walk with God and we were all blessed to have had you in our lives. I will love you always. Gary, Teresa & Shane.

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