Author Ruth Smith Meyer

Ruth Smith Meyer Inspirational writer, speaker

Thinking out Loud on my Blog

The Gossamer Curtain up Close

Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on September 23, 2010 at 6:18 PM

On our vacation this summer, within a week, we were three times, confronted with the fragility of life. Most notable, a man who had become a friend over the years, came to take my husband out for the day. He had become one of the welcome components in our visits to Alberta. The two men had started out the lane, but then returned to do one more thing. Within fifteen minutes, our friend died. We quickly called 911. In less than twenty minutes the ambulance, rescue vehicle, fire truck and three police cars descended at our son’s property, but their valiant efforts were in vain.


Questions raced through our minds. What if he had died before he came to spend the day with my husband? He would have died alone, his wife away for the day. What if he had died while driving—if he hadn’t come back for that one thing? That held bigger implications. We were poignantly reminded again-- that which divides life here and the life beyond is but a gossamer curtain.


The week before, a couple not far advanced in years to what we were, never arrived to their destination. Their travel van was found burned out. Two days after the death of our friend, we were also on our way from Alberta to Vancouver. It seemed we had barely started when, at Golden, B.C., we directed off the highway into parking lots for a two and a half hour wait. There had been a horrible accident up ahead. Two people lost their lives. The people at the service station and Tim Horton’s told us that the day before, in almost exactly the same place, three others had perished. Because of our close connection to one death already that week, we felt the present ones more keenly--they heighted our awareness of each moment of our days. The beauty we encountered driving through the mountains seemed even more breath-taking and exquisite; the time with family and friends in that week doubly precious.


Those experiences also nudged us to a further acceptance of living one day at a time and doing so as fully as possible—planning as though we’re going to live a long time, but ready to let go at a moment’s notice.


Not so long after we came home, I was given the book that I just reviewed in my “I’ve been reading” page. It seemed an appropriate and fitting time for it to come into my life. Please take a moment to read that too, and if you haven’t read it, try to get a copy. It is full of good information.

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Reply Martha
6:51 PM on September 23, 2010 
When we visited one friend whose husband, my age, had died suddenly just 4 months earlier, a cousin whose husband was terminal with cancer, and another close frieend whose husband was confined to a wheelchair, I had to pause and reflect on the meaning of life. I am grateful for health and a healthy spouse, and grieve with those who have lost loved ones. My funeral plans are in order. It seemed expedient to do that before we travelled this summer. Thanks for sharing.
Reply Diane Stephenson
9:33 PM on September 23, 2010 
Ruth: It would be good if we all stopped once in awhile to realize that life is fragile. We never know who will be the next one of our family or friends (or ourselves) to pass from this world and we need to be well prepared for when our time comes. To be so close to death so many times on one vacation is certainly an attention-getter. Thank the Lord that you and your husband were kept safe in the hollow of His hands. I'm glad to know that in spite of your experience you had a memorable holiday.
Reply Jim Fox
9:38 PM on September 23, 2010 
Thanks for sharing Ruth. Just this pst weekend we received news of two of our friends in Crowsnest Pass Alberta passing. The one, a fifty-eight year old man, had a heart attack. he was a good man but not a believer.That is sad.
The other was a Pastors wife. She said to her husband Sat. evening, "I don't think I'm supposed to be here." Within a couple of hours she had been promoted tp Glory.
I know where the woman is and I won't judge the man, he wouldn't be the first to squease in at the last minute.