From death to the joy of life and a burgundy recliner

We have had a strange run with a funeral nearly every week since late September, a sad and mournful toll of accidents, age and disease.

Having been witness to the finality of life so much in recent days, it causes me to ponder my own mortality and how I might live differently.

After considerable thought, I decided not much.

I live intentionally for the most part and am prepared to meet my Creator. That said, I did decide I probably would clean out some closets and dresser drawers and wish our finances were in better order. Note, I didn’t say I would actually put our finances in better order, simply that I would wish they were in better order.

The heartache of death is often tempered by the joy of new life, which is why Providence ordained that I would be hosting a baby shower this weekend. I dropped off decorations to be assembled to a friend and neighbor helping with the shower.

Her house was trashed, just as she said it would be. Paper scraps with pencil squiggles were scattered about in the front hall. The family room was littered with toys and stuffed animals, games and scads of plastic hangers. The trail of clutter led directly to a burgundy recliner. There sat my friend’s husband and their granddaughter, snuggled side by side watching “Bob the Builder” or some other such show with short people wearing yellow hats operating construction equipment.

My friend’s husband has a Ph.D., in history. He’s not a cartoon sort of guy. But he was today. And he was happy to be so.

The charmer beside him was feeling secure and content, sheltered from all the world and all of life’s uncertainties by her grandpa’s presence and strong right arm. What a golden start to life, to be loved and protected and made to feel safe. How different life might have been for some of those making headlines had they been showered with love and stability as small children. The little one shot me a look with her dark brown eyes that clearly said, “Do not disturb.”

I wouldn’t dare.

The book of Genesis details the creation of light and the heavens and the water and the land and all the things that swim in the seas and move upon the earth. Each of those wonders is anchored within the creation of time.

I was saying goodbye to a young family recently after an hour or so together. They are intentional about their use of time and were on their way to another commitment. As we parted, the father sighed and said, “It seems we are always so busy.”

We all are. And therein lies the rub — how to harness time and use it in ways that will reverberate through hearts and minds and eternity.

One of the greatest gifts we are given in this life is that of time. One of the greatest gifts we can give others is time.

So put your arm around a loved one and have a seat.

Lori Borgman is an Indianapolis columnist. Send comments to