What Really Matters
Iḿ sitting here in Starbucks,of all places! Starbucks is so not me. In Atlanta I never even considered it a place to hang out or relax. First of all ,I don´t drink coffee. And even if I did, they´re too pricey,to preppy,and too fake. I can count the times I´ve been-once in Mexico City with my friend Argie,once on Duluth Hiway with Leah,and once in Midtown with Sondra. That´s the extent of my Starbucks experience.
But since I´ve been in Acuña,I cross over to Del Rio and just sit and relax and get online while listening to the cool music. This morning it is a mix of old Neal Young hits and Mazzy Star and some folksy tunes.I have no idea who the artists are,but I am kinda diggin them. Who would have thought I´d find Starbucks as my oasis in the dusty,rocky,landscape that is Del Rio/Acuña?
Which brings me to something I have been pondering since I have been here. What really matters. I have time to really reflect on how little time we often spend on what really matters. We hear how its not ´things´ that are important,yet we focus on those ´things´.
I am a caregiver and I have been in many homes in the years I have worked in my profession. people collect things,their houses are full of them.An overabundance of knick knacks,trivial stuff,items they used only once or never. Closets full of clothes they never wear,cosmetics that are tossed in drawers,books that are never read. Money wasted on a whim or because it was the latest thing and is no longer useful or fashionable.Bigger televisions,one in every room. Stacks of china and dishes,cabinets bursting with pots and pans or linens that haven´t been used for a good 20 years or more. The houses are full to bursting.
But I watch and observe and I see what really matters. My clients grow old,as we all will,and they no longer are concerned with those material things. Most can´t drive those expensive cars, they no longer care about the knick knacks and collections, they can´t get out and spend the money,someone else does everything for them.
The one thing that they have in common is their love for each other.Even the widows and widowers. one lady had a husband who had died 6 years before I started her care. She wasn´t concerned with her things or her money,she talked about soon being with her husband again and resting in God.One gentleman had been building a huge mansion for his wife of 52 years. Sadly,she passed before it was done. She was an artist. He had built a room just for her to paint in but he said it didn´t matter without her. His one consolation was that she had a better room with the Lord and he would see it soon. The big mansion didn´t matter.
My sweet couple in Atlanta loved each other so much. When he was in the hospital I would take her and they would hold hands and even though she didn´t have the mental capacity to verbally communicate,she showed by her eyes and inflections that she loved him. When he passed she tried to stand and cried at the funeral.
And now here I care for a stroke victim. He has been like this for 11 years. His weet wife has cared for him and their three children all this time. The other day she came into give him water in his feeding tube and you should have seen the light in his eyes and the huge smile on his face. She stroked his cheek and whispered ¨te quiero¨. His son and daughters all pitch in too help and love their dad and he beams whenever they are around him. That´s Christlike love folks,eternal love,and that´s what really matters.
Miguel and I don´t have a lot in Mexico,not materially anywayThis is our stove. Itś a gas cooktop supported by some stones on a piece of drywall on a chair. This morning I was boiling water to wash dishes since we don´t have hot water. I boil for showers also. Its our Fred Flintstone stove!But Iḿ thankful because I do have a crockpot and that is a luxury!
The cooler is our frig,the rack is our pantry,the channel locks are the backdoor lock,and the table is the kitchen cabinet! And it works! Our landlady is so sweet. She´s 81 and has a bit of a time getting around so we help her all we can. Yesterday Miguel fixed her sink when he got home from work.I bring her sweets and fruit,she makes me salsa and frijoles. When I get home I sit with her a spell and just listen to her stories of life. I pray for her and she prays for me. No pressure,no stress.
Iḿ so very grateful and joyful that we have all we need and then some. God is so good to us. us. There are so many here who have way less than we do.And we try to share. In the mornings Miguel and I make tacos for him to take to work.We always make a few extra so he can share. There is a deportee who has to stay at the construction site,he has no where to sleep so Miguel took a blanket and a pair of shoes to him and showed him where he could go for shelter. Miguel understands,when he was first sent back,he had to stay in the Casa de Pan,the Bread House. No lights,no hot water,second hand clothes,meager food. But he was thankful to have what God provided. That´s what matters.
Love one another,not a popular phrase in our world today,but it is what matters. The things of this life are fleeting and eternity is what we really have. It matters not too our Father what we possess,only that we love Him and others and find joy in the lives He gives us,to learn what really matters.