HARVESTING A LIFE: NEVER TOO LATE TO CREATE
by Janet Grace Riehl
My brother and I exchange what has become our ceremonial morning text messages.
Janet: “Daddy’s still breathing.”
Gary (my brother): “Good.”
At 95 my father is in sharp decline. Not bed ridden, mind you, though
he sleeps and rests a lot. But still creating. Still offering himself to the
Still whittling his little critters with his pocket knife and giving
them away—even though he can barely see and his hands cramp.
Still writing. He just started a new novel “Almost Sixteen” and has made it to page 74.
Still singing snatches of old songs to punctuate a conversation or a thought as he
goes about his day. At a family dinner we talk about an exciting baseball game.
He launches into “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” That’s one we all know, so we
He’s harvesting, you see; we reap the benefits. He’s not just harvesting. He’s still planting seeds for generations to come. He lives to serve. This will serve him well up to his dying breath. Up to the moment when I text my brother: “Pop stopped breathing.”
As long as we are breathing we can write. As long as we are breathing
we can write to serve. We can continue creating a life worth living. We can
harvest our lives to enchant the world as we die. We can harvest our lives so
that even after death our life and work nurtures the generations which follow
us down the long rows in the vast field.
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