Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Merle Killinger

An elderly woman recently died. She was an active cheerful positive pillar of my church community. Her name was Merle Killinger. And I feel bad that she has passed, not only because I’ll miss her. I will. But also because I wanted to get to know her better. And I meant to. I had every intention of doing just that. For months, I had been telling myself that I should visit her, take lunch over to her house and just sit with her awhile, get to know her better, glean all I could from her life experience-earned wisdom. Merle was a writer. A poet. I knew I could learn from her. And I didn’t even realize she was a teacher until I read her obituary. I wanted to spend time with Merle. Keep her company for an hour or two. Maybe make her day and bring a smile to her face while she did the same for me. Merle had recently mailed an anniversary card to Bob and I, and I kept meaning to thank her for it – next time I saw her. Merle had several health issues and was often hospitalized. With each hospital admission, I had wanted to go see her. I told myself I would. I know firsthand how much these visits can mean. I truly intended to go to that hospital and visit her, but . . .

But I never did any of that. Life happened each day and I never took the time. I never made the effort. I guess I always assumed there’d be another day.

And now I’ve lost the opportunity. I’m sad about that.

Friends, time is fleeting and fickle. We can’t afford to put off until later what we feel called and compelled to do today. Just make the time and do it now. In the end, relationships and how we connect with people are all that really matter.

So here’s to Merle. I hope I get to know her better – someday – on the other side.


Melanie Rigney said...

Beautifully told... just don't be so hard on yourself. Excellent reminder that all we are guaranteed are the moment we're in.

Roberta Tucker Brosius said...

Angie, I had a similar experience with a man who was the dad of my son's friend. I knew he had a bad heart, had since his early adult years. When his boys were young, I prayed often that he would live long enough to see his sons grow up, and God answered that prayer. A few years ago, I used to drive past the entrance to his street and think I should drop in and see him and his wife, but I never did. I was always on my way to someplace and hurrying home from someplace. Then I learned on the day of his funeral that he had died. I hope we both learn to be proactive when God nudges us. I confess to be a slow learner.

Jamie Chavanne said...

Angie, thank you for sharing your experience with us. Too often, I have chosen to put off doing something as easy as making a phone call just to say hello. This is a gentle reminder of what I need to change within me. God bless you.

Jess said...

Merle used to be a member of BWG and she was in a book club with Lena that I was a member of years ago. She was a wonderful poet. I hadn't seen her in a very long time but I felt sad too when I saw her obit in the paper. I'm the world's worst at doing what I should. I think that saying, 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' is for me. I think of it when I procrastinate then realize I've waited too late. Sweet post about Merle.She would like it.