Skip to main content

The Gift


The Gift
Many of us die by incidental disease.  My goal is to have a final fight with a Bear in the woods, and lose? Yes, of course. Bloodied and all. Yet, graciously as well. I’m good like that. Any coach knowing me. Knows I’m that way. I had one coach say to others and I, as he has had to look at me. As he was trying to get a joint or a bone back into place in my body, “She’s the perfect soldier.”  Alas, the only other way for me to die is of ‘old age’. Which has been considered not politically correct to say. I consider that unfortunate for others.  To me, either way to die is quite admirable. However, most wouldn’t accept it. The Gift I have is that I will.

I don’t truly completely contemplate heaven and hell. I have nearly no clue as to what’s really out there.  Yet, I have personally been at death’s door enough to know what it feels like. There’s a brief adrenalin rush. Well at least for me there’s been, on each occasion of my own possible demise. However, about ninety-three percent of us do not accept that we’re going to die.

Yeah, we talk about it. But we don’t really get it. I had a psychologist friend who took me out to lunch about twenty years ago. She told me the difference of how my mind operates. About life she said, “You get it.” Then she wagged her head, when I tilted mine with wonder, “Don’t most people get it before age forty?” I queried. She shook her head an emphatic, ‘No’. I was stunned. Jaw dropped, I was.

So that moment, I have contemplated for nearly two decades and now in my sixth decade of living, when I didn’t think I’d ever make it this far. I’m still alive.  There are a million reasons to stay alive. Every day I find tons of reasons to stick around this place in this vessel we call, ‘human being’.  Yet, I have the Gift.  As I contemplate just as much every day why people act like they are going to live forever. That has baffled my mind, till very recently.

About two weeks ago I stood in the living room of one of my clients. She stated, “We have become God-less.” I thought that. Yet, I refrained from that thought entirely. In my private talks with my husband I say, “Honey, it’s always been this way. That’s why there are Bibles and religious books.” All those books remind us where we’ve gone wrong. What human nature may be that we are up against in the vessels we exist in on this place currently. In this spectrum of the universe. As well, along with all its energies.

So, this brings me to quality of life. It is what I strive for. It is what I have preached. ‘Why do I even try to eat right, or exercise?’ We may ask ourselves, when we realize we are at the end of this temporary road we call being human?  My answer is the quality of what we take in, process and what we put out to the world. I do what I do, not to live longer. Quite to the contrary. I do what I do, because I know and have known since probably age six my Gift. The Gift is that we all die at varying ages.

The Gift arrived when my mother brought me to a church on a Saturday afternoon in May over fifty years ago. We entered, bowed our heads, and made the sign of the cross. No one was present. As we walked up the aisle towards the front of the church. The light of that sunny day shone through the stained-glass windows. Colors lining part of our way up towards the altar of the church. Those colors perhaps cast a ray of hope for those in despair. Who make their way up that aisle, on those less colorful days of remembrance. Perhaps to lift their burden of sorrows.

On that particular day in May. Mom, initially not saying a word. Yet, being serious in thought, directed me to turn right at the last of the front pews and aim to the candle lit section of the front of the church. I had always wondered what those candles lit and unlit were there for. Yet, I’d always been afraid to go near the front of the church.  The front of the church was for better people. It was different from school.

My Mom, then spoke and said, “I’m lighting a candle for your brother who died. He was my first.” She prayed, then lit a candle. And soon we were parting. Leaving the candle lit behind us. When we arrived home, she showed me his baby shoes that he’d never made it into. I found out then, I’d had three brothers. Two were already dead. Birthed on the same day a year apart. Incidentally, that day is my wedding anniversary.

I’ve contemplated hard on those matters, so far for the rest of my life. And when you do and you’re me. Maybe you get the Gift. The Gift is knowing everyone dies, and accepting it. Yet, in the meanwhile doing everything you can to create a quality of living to do all the things that the dead could not do. I DO NOT do what I do in my eating, thinking, exercising to defy death. I do what I do, because I know better. I know to be responsible with the vessel I’ve been given, meandering my way through all it’s defects. As well, to enjoy the vessel, and it’s science of its temporary life.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


Popular posts from this blog

2023 Holiday Letter from the Reicher's

Well, I didn't think I'd be doing a Holiday Letter this year, but here goes... The Spirit of Norm is in the air. As the wind whips with minus a true snowstorm.  In hopes the Farmers Almanac was correct, I pray to the snow gods. Rain ensued the month of December thus far. We have nearly tripled the amount of rainfall usual for December in New Jersey. And I've witnessed its treachery. Storms such as these hit us hardest in July. Then remained fairly intense through til about early October.  Our daughters are doing well, Thank God.  Their Dad would be proud of them. Our oldest Sarah, now a Junior at UCLA pursuing her degree in Chemical Engineering. She's digging the whole California scene. Which I thought it was for her. She's had some good traveling on her off times from school. For her March 2023 week off, she drove her and a few friends out to Lake Tahoe and went downhill skiing for a first in nearly 5 years. She had to rent the ski equipment.  Funny enough when

Sledging the Hammer

  "You could have a steam trainIf you'd just lay down your tracks..."---Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' lyrics. This is not the tune that lay in my mind this morning as I reminisced about yesterday's volunteers to help on trail crew.    However, as I looked up the proper definition of sledging that song popped up. I say sledging, which is my own take on swinging a hammer that we call a "Double Jack". The Single Jack is six pounds. I know that because our regular crew of five including me and one staff supervisor are handling Harriman State Park Trails, and have to carry about four of those, two shaping hammers, along with a hoist, belay bag with heavy equipment, first aid kit, double Jack, three 18lb rock bars, a lopper, three buckets, three eye to eyes, two burlap straps, two green wrapping straps, two pick Mattox, a roe hoe or two, a bar for either the two ton or one ton hoist, the feathers with pegs for splitting rocks that we drill... s

Maybe It's About Love

Maybe I just don't get it... "...My father sits at night with no lights on..."---Carly Simon  In my male-dominant mind. Dr. Suess-ish sing-songy "...go go go go on an adventure..." (George Santos' escapades gave me permission to use "ish".) I'd been accused of not being detailed enough in my writing. as my writer friend, Caytha put it to me now near twenty years ago. I knew she was correct. It's gotten a lot better, a whole bunch better. But the writing of sex scenes... Well... I'll need Caytha for that.  "...his cigarette glows in the dark..."---Carly Simon  Even my husband Norman could have written the simple sex scenes better than I, that I currently need in my script. And he was not a writer, but a math oriented thinker. Ala carte he was a nurturing romantic. And a sort of romantic Humphrey Bogart to his Ingrid. Otherwise, I won't go into details there. I'll let the mature audiences use their imagination. I am so