Saying Goodbye, and Hello

Being the husband of a hospice caregiver, I have resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to find myself talking about death a whole lot.  Not only is it a fact of life, it’s “part of the business”, so to say.  While we were on vacation, for instance, Lintilla lost almost her entire case load – they all passed on in the same week. 

I find it entirely strange that my planning for the time of our family dinner is based partly on who lives and who dies that day.  Trivialities and earth-shattering events converge on a daily basis.

One thing that comes up in conversations about death is this: sudden, unexpected deaths can cause wounds that linger indefinitely, because those left behind never got a chance to say goodbye.

I thought of this last night as X-Alt discussed and prayed about our upcoming show at Belle Mead United Methodist Church.  7 of the current members of X-Alt (I think I’m counting right) were part of the “worship band” at Belle Meade’s contemporary service – some of us for years. 

I will not air the church’s dirty laundry here (I still belong to BMUMC, proudly).  But I will say that during the turmoil, X-Alt became its own entity, a tangible thing, if you will, and “it” was so intertwined into that contemporary service that when it suddenly ended, it was as if a death or divorce occurred – suddenly.

And each of us – individually – felt it.  We grieved as one who has love snatched away suddenly.

As I’ve chronicled here more than I’m sure you’d care to hear, we picked up the pieces, formally became “a group”, and started our music ministry.  We have been blessed greater than we could have ever dreamed, and I think we have blessed others in the process.  I think we are on the cusp of even greater things (more on that in a minute).

But “it” is still sitting out there, haunting us, unwilling to let us move on as we should.  But that is about to change.

Thanks to an extremely gracious invitation, X-Alt will be playing a short concert at Belle Meade on August 29th.  I can say that both sides are heading into this quite tentatively, but trusting in God.

As for X-Alt, what we experienced was both the death of a loved one and a nasty divorce, all in one fell swoop.  In order to move on, I think we need to make peace with our “ex”, and we need to finally lay a rose on the gravestone of our dearly departed.  The only way we can do this, interestingly, is to NOT focus on our grief, our hopes, or anything else about us.  We will start healing if we go into this seeking and praising God.  We need to do what we do.  See Ford Prefect’s thoughts on this.

As for the greater things to come? All I can say is that X-Alt is starting to resemble the jam sessions at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.  Maybe not in age, yet, but in numbers.  Pretty soon, we’ll only be logistically able to play amphitheaters and megachurches.  We could field a football team.  So, I guess I should tell you:

Ginger has joined us on our long, strange trip.  Her addition to the X-Alt family was also quite sudden, but this time it was a blessing.  She brings a wealth of knowledge, and a heavenly voice to our group.  It goes without saying that I am pleased as punch that Ginger has decided to bless our ministry with her time and talent.  Lord knows, it’s quite a drive she has to make to get to rehearsals.

And we all love fighting for the attention of her beautiful daughter.

Now y’all have no excuse  🙂 Keep a lookout on these pages for dates y’all can come see us play and sing. 


One Response to “Saying Goodbye, and Hello”

  1. Klinde Says:

    Being the daughter of someone with IIIB lung cancer (clear of visible signs of disease at present, thank you, Lord) I pray for your wife and am grateful for her daily sacrifice. Give her a big hug for those she serves, please. One day it may be my mother.

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