The Counting of Days

I’ve been calendar-focused these last few months, with many deadlines and personal red-letter days interwoven with the weather and seasons of life.  Additionally, I’ve been studying last year’s calendar, confirming that it’s been a year since I got my last text from Gina Mason.

It was the Tuesday after Labor Day, September 5, 2017 at 5:18 p.m.  It was simple; she asked me to “please RSVP to me if they are, please.”  She was asking me to RSVP for my parents about her son Garrett’s campaign kickoff event.  I did not respond until 6:11 p.m.  I do not know the exact time of her death.  I do not know if she read my text in the earthly realm.

Last night, the Tuesday after Labor Day, at about 5:45 p.m. I was westward bound for a Council meeting at the Lisbon Town Hall.  The topic?  The Moxie Festival.  It was a “workshop” to discuss the general finances and administration of the event, determine if there were efficiencies that could be accomplished, and affirm the mission and direction of the festival work.  It was a good meeting and it was well-attended.  At the end of the meeting, Rick Mason spoke briefly and eloquently.  He said the most important element of the Festival was it’s “hometown spirit.”

I couldn’t have agreed more.  And I’m glad it was Rick Mason who spoke those words and reminded everyone in the room of his late wife’s passion and vision for our town.

How easy it is to forget the basics in the counting of days.  We busy ourselves, we rush here and there.  We text, we talk.  I do not know how much we actually accomplish.

Gina Mason’s obituary is in my Bible and I look at it almost every day.  I have learned a great many things in this last year without Gina.  I was invited and welcomed into the Mason family’s grief.  I have learned many things from observing their sorrow, grace, and endurance.  And mostly their faith.

Last year, on the day of Gina’s funeral, my “Heavenly Blue” morning glories finally bloomed.

This year, I celebrate my friend with a white morning glory.  I’ve seen only one so far.

“Grandpa Ott” has overpowered the morning glory spots this season, but graciously made room for this beautiful flower.  It resembles the moonflower in color, but has no fragrance.  It’s smaller than a moonflower, too.

Onward, to “run with endurance the race set before” me.

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