Dinner Conversations I’d Like to Have

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3

I’ve mentioned before that one of the joyous side effects of my current round of treatment is insomnia.

It generally comes in one of two ways.

Either I will go to sleep at the regular time and wake up a couple hours later not being able to go back to sleep for four or five hours.

Or, more often, I can sleep, but nature calls about every hour so I spend the night getting up and down. All night long.

It’s like sleeping in an Episcopal service.

Prostate cancer is no picnic.

I’m trying to make the best of it.

On those nights when I can’t go back to sleep, I usually realize after an hour or so that sleep just isn’t coming. So, I’ll get up and read, or check the web, or sometimes write like I did with one of last week’s posts.

But in those between times, when I’m not sure if I’ll get back to sleep or if I’m up for the day, my mind wanders to many things. Sometimes thoughts are prompted by the music I have playing on Pandora.

Currently my favorite station is one that plays hymns, mostly piano arrangements. I’m not sure how I found the station but it’s called, and I swear I’m not making this up “Love Lifted Me, I Was Sinking Deep in Sin Radio.”

I digress.

In one of those times the other night, I started thinking about people I’ve known who have gone home to

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heaven, many of them far too soon.

Of course there’s my family. I lost my father when I was twenty years old. The sting never goes away. And there are my aunts and uncles on both sides. My Mother is the last of her generation.

But recently I’ve thought of college friends or professors that I was blessed to know. I did not realize at the time how blessed I was.

I think what it would be like to have one more conversation, one more chance to learn, to experience.

And I kick myself for not realizing it at the time.

There was this one time when the staff from student publications spent an all day retreat with members of the College administration. I was the yearbook editor. The newspaper editor and I shared breakfast with the College president and the Academic Dean.

Oh, the opportunities to ask the rich questions of life, of the faith.

But what do I remember from that day?

I was wearing a tan suit.

Don’t @ me Karen, it was the 70s.

About halfway through the meal I noticed that my coat sleeve had been resting in my coffee cup. I was horrified.

But if they noticed, and I’m not sure how they could have missed it, they never said anything.

So you see my regret. I’d like to be able to go back to that conversation not to ask them if they noticed the sleeve, but to hear a little more of their wisdom.

I started making a list of other people and thought that it would make a great dinner party.

Who would I invite? Well, there’s Greg, and Bob, and Al…

If you know, you know.

But maybe, as I write this the more important thing to do is to be concerned about current conversations.

Savor the moments. Value the relationships.

Maybe it’s the 47 years of house arrest that has made me long for these times.

I mean, even we natural introverts have our seclusion limits.

Instead of thinking about the conversations I’ve missed, I should think about the conversations I need to have.

I think I’ll sleep on it.

Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash




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