Oh how difficult stillness can be, through life changes, yet this is the only place peace can be found.
On this day, I am still as I remember.
On this day, August 28, 1959, a tiny baby sister was born, and being too frail for life in this world, she also died the same day. I was eleven years old and had she lived she would be fifty-three years old today.
Instead I am left only wondering what she would have been like, the things we might have done, the places we could have gone, and mostly now, how it would be to have her here with me during this time of care-giving for our dad who now lives with us. Mostly the grief is for what could have been as my husband so sweetly put it this morning.
Nine months later I would lose my 2 1/2 year old brother. (His birthday is Sept. 5)
Forty-six years later, November 8, 2005 I would lose my one remaining sibling.
During these times of remembering I am often sad. And often God speaks to me not only through scripture but through music.
This morning was no different. Last night I had pulled out this collage of photos from Botanic Gardens that I created a few years ago.
I am sending it to a friend ‘s mother who has recently lost her husband of many years.
I wasn’t thinking about it for myself at the time, but this morning as I awoke and “remembered,” this song was playing over and over in my mind, especially the last verse. I had worked on another post for today, but this morning my sister was foremost in my mind and on my heart. It says all I would want to say for this day.
Be still my soul, the hour is hastening on,
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Thank you LORD for the hope of eternal life in heaven with You and the ones I love. “I Can Only Imagine.” (Mercy Me)
The first three verses of the song are equally meaningful for much of life’s imponderable mysteries and unanswered questions.
“Be Still, My Soul”
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897
1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46:10
Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752,
Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
Titled: “Stille, mein Wille”
Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
(Photos by Carol and Galen at Chicago Botanical Gardens)