The Last Mile

The Last Mile

By O’Ceallaigh

I took my last walk around the mile block the other day and passed The General for the last time. From now on everything must be from memory.

You may say, “That won’t be so bad!”

Well, you could be right, but you don’t have my memory! I needed that walk and all the sights and sounds to jog my memory, and to bring total recall-of these crazy things that you have been reading about. Without the buttons being pushed, I have no idea where these chapters will end up.

God only knows, so we will let Him lead!

On that last walk it was snowing and I was dressed up like a snowman from head to toe and I was still cold. My pace was a little more rapid than usual as I approached The General and I really considered stopping in and introducing myself and having something hot to drink.

But, what would I say? I had lived in this town for thirty-eight years and only knew a handful of people. What kind of a neighbor had I been? If I were to go in to The General now, they’d probably throw me out! Surely they would if they knew.

I thought about the poet and his “House By The Side of the Road.” He wanted to live there in his house where he could see all the people going by and just be a “friend to man.”

Maybe that’s what I wanted deep inside , too. But, now, I had to get back to the house and pack the car with all the stuff that we needed to take with us to put into our other house. I wondered, half aloud, what we were going to do with it all when we arrived in Florida.

But, then, Kathy seemed to be a master at stowing stuff and finding places that never existed before to put things that now existed again after being stowed away in other unknown places for so long. Then I thought of all the things that we had given away, sold and otherwise disposed of and wondered what we would do if we still had all of those things!

I felt thankful.

I crossed over the bridge on South Maple Street that crosses Goose Creek. The creek was in flood stage due to the snow–melt and subsequent run-off. I was glad to be getting away from the repeated cold, wet and grey days.

My walk was getting shorter as I passed by the pillared mansion that was the showplace of the town. It used to have tall evergreens in front of the place giving “the illusion of seclusion” that I always admired. The owner had moved away and the new people took the trees out and put in a large hedge. It’s nice, but I liked the trees! It was my favorite house in the town.

Now I’ve turned onto Cedar Avenue.

It’s beginning to hit me.

This is the last time.

I’m not sure if I feel sadness or joy.

Melancholy is, I believe, an appropriate word.

I wonder if, when the actual “Last Mile” is finally walked the attitude will be similar?

Looking back over this transition, I have the feeling that it will be much the same.

Not to be morose, but I always think of Bryant’s “Thanatopsis” at times like this.

Why? Well, when we have walked our last mile here, we have nothing to fear, but rather something to look forward to.

If we believe in God and that He raised Jesus from the dead, we can also be assured that those who fall asleep in the faith of the life eternal can be assured of the resurrection. Not to a life of eternal boredom of floating on clouds and strumming of harps, but walking and running and leaping like kids again. Experiencing real joy! Maybe joy such as we have never dreamed!

I ‘m sure it will be something like that, for “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard…the things which God hath prepared for them that love him…”

101_0647              I enjoyed The Last Mile.

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