Monday, June 28, 2010

The Rearview Mirror

A Great Monday morning to all who grieve.
(Is that too perky?)

I was thinking this past week about just how useful the rearview mirror is. Really...I think about such things. I know that makes me quirky or outright strange but I'm OK with that. It's truly a liberating moment when you reach the point (or age) where you just don't care all that much what people think of you. So I'm thinking about the road behind me and justthis past week I found the rearview mirror quite helpful.

I used it on Monday to hold the handicap sticker that my father-in-law has so I could park in the front spot while taking him to his doctor appointment. The rearview mirror is a handy holder of all sorts of dangling things.

On Tuesday I used the mirror while in the midst of traffic. I glanced up just in time to see a guy in a very large pickup truck move in behind me close enough to smell my perfume. I thought a moment about hitting the brake but I really like my car so I moved over and let the guy have the lane. He was speeding and agressive but... I really like my car so I let the bully pass.

On Thursday I found it particularly helpful in helping to apply lipstick. It also is quite handy for reapplying makeup and straightening hair. This last one is quite helpful since I drive a convertible and the hair is truly a mess. This is also something I'm OK with. Messed up hair or life without the convertible- the choice is clear. I really like my car!

Well I have found the rearview mirror a useful tool but only when used in brief spurts. Driving while gazing steadily into the rearview mirror would not be good. In fact, it is impossible to make any forward progress while staring into the rearview mirror. Only brief glances are best.

I took a brief glance back this past week and found it quite helpful in guiding me through a week filled with difficult grief-points. This past week was the fourth anniversary of my husband's death. If you had told me that four years later I would still be grappling with grief I would have told you that is not ever going to happen to me. (shows you what I knew about grief)
I had to take the cat (David's cat) to the vet and put poor Fred out of his misery. In the midst of this I found myself looking back at the joy the cat brought to David in his last days battling cancer. Fred had earned his keep! I glanced back at the many ways God had carried me through the past four years when I thought grief would surely kill me. There were even those days when I hoped for someone to put me out of my misery only to find God sending a friend or a funny moment to ease the pain and give me a clear perspective. Sometimes grief is like that bully in the truck bearing down on you with such agressive speed that the best you can do is pull over and try to get out of the way. A quick look back at all those times God saved me was helped me get a clear perspective for this past week. Glancing back can give us the courage to move forward.

WARNING! A brief glance is the only way to look back. If you linger in the past you will risk letting the past overrun your life and greatly impair your future. I also recommend selective glances down memory lane. I chose to look at only the good and joy-filled memories and kept a steely-eyed, determined gaze at the road ahead whenever a painful memory tried to climb into my backseat. The Bible tells us to "take every though captive" and to "think on those things that are good, and pure, and lovely". That's selective use of the rearview mirror. I strongly recommend it for all who grieve.

Well, it's a sunny day and that top is comming down on the red convertible! It's going to be a "top-down day"! I'm so glad I didn't spend any time on my hair this morning. I can blame the mess on the wind and the car. And I'll be using that rear view mirror to apply the lipstick (it matches the car!) So get out there and find something to make you smile- a garden or a movie or a lovely lunch along the lake - go for it! Move forward and use that rearview mirror sparingly.



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