The Three Big Questions in Life

Abbey-MarianWhat a walk! Sunday afternoon was a time for spring fever. Bright blue sky. Snow-covered fields. Temperatures in the upper 30’s. And no wind. Mim, Abbey, and I walked down country roads for well over an hour. The highlight of a weekend of highlights! After that refreshing walk, Abbey and I were ready for the conversation we meant to have for last week’s blog post.

“You’re right, Abbey. We need to take more of these long walks. They are so refreshing. We need to do everything we can to avoid being too busy,” I said to Abbey as we sat down in the living room.

She responded to me, “Now that I’m 70 years old – 10 in human years – maybe you’ll give me credit for having some wisdom. I know how important leisurely walks are for all of us.”

“You’re right, Abbey,” I conceded. “Even though this was an awfully busy weekend, I’m glad we found time for this walk.”

The birthday girls - Anna turns 92 and Abbey turns 70

The birthday girls –
Anna turns 92 and Abbey turns 70

Abbey smiled and said, “Saturday was the really busy day. I never knew anyone else had my birthday. I’m glad we celebrated Anna’s birthday. Turning 92 is quite an accomplishment. My turning 70 is nothing in comparison to that. I’m glad such a nice woman lives with us. It was fun to help Anna open her presents. She appreciated every gift she received, but I think what she liked most was having her family visit – all three generations of her offspring were reperesented. Oh, and getting lots of phone calls from other family and friends, too.”

I replied, “It was fun to see Anna and her family having such a good time together. Birthdays are so important because they bring friends and families together to specifically honor the birthday person. With birthday celebrations, everyone is reminded of how much their friends and family love them.  By the way, Abbey, there’s another person who’s special in my life and who shares February 23 as her birthday together with Anna and you.  My mom would have been 105 on Saturday. Actually, that’s why we set your birthday for that date. We think you were born in February, but we don’t know for sure. All we know is that you were about 3 years old when we adopted you. My mom loved dogs, and she would have loved to share her birthday with you.”

“That’s nice. I wish I had known her.” Abbey hesitated, then added, “I wish I knew more about my past. I’m glad you adopted me, but I wish I knew more about where I came from.”

“Interesting to hear you say that, Abbey.  Mim is reading the book, Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim by Edward Hays. She just told me she read that the three big questions in life are Where did I come from? Where am I going? and Why am I here?”

“Well, I guess I’ll never know the answer to the first question.”

“That’s probably true, but you’re not alone with that, Abbey. Last week I read the book, Andrew, You Died Too Soon, by Corinne Chilstrom. Andrew, who had been adopted as an infant, committed suicide at age 18. His mother wrote this book. She said that trying to learn where he had come from was the biggest issue that plagued Andrew throughout his short life. Knowing our family roots is extremely important to understanding who we are and what we will become. Abbey, I’m sorry that you will never know your roots. At least you get to play with some of your distant cousins on the golden retriever side of your family. That must give you some clues about your family history.”

Abbey's cousins out for a ride.

Abbey’s cousins out for a ride.

“Yeah, playing with Holly and Sadie and Piper helps.” Abbey paused, then said, “Let’s talk some more about the three big questions in life. I don’t know about the second question – where I’m going – but I think I know the answer to the third question – why I’m here. I’m here to love. I love you, and Mim, and every one of the grandmas who have lived with us. A long time ago I figured out that my life mission is to love everyone. Remember, I even wrote it down as my personal mission statement.”

“That’s right, Abbey, and you do a very good job of loving everyone, especially all the grandmas who come to live with us. You definitely figured out why you are here on this earth! Now, about the middle question – where I’m going. Pastor Jeff hinted at it in his sermon Sunday. He said that we’re “citizens of heaven.”

Family portrait in our own little heaven - in front of the pond in our back yard.

Family portrait in our own little heaven – in front of the pond in our back yard.

“Do you think that means we’ll ultimately end up in heaven?”

“I think that’s what Pastor Jeff was suggesting. It’s what the Bible says. In The Message paraphrase it says, There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And If I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. (John 14:2-3)”

“Wow. That’s something to think about.” Abbey sighed.  “I’m going to ponder that for a while.Thanks for taking the time for this conversation. This has been quite a weekend – a birthday party, a long walk, and time to talk about the three biggest questions in life.”

“Thank you, Abbey. When I seem too busy to take time for things like this, keep on pestering me till I remember.”

 

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