I really treasure the age when the boy moves from the child in the back seat to the young man riding shot-gun beside me. Those driving moments can be so full of life. I’m not sure how many miles I’ve ridden holding the hand of a teenage son, talking life and love out of the side of my mouth.
Tonight Ben and I laughed so hard I nearly drove off the road.
I flipped through the radio stations on the drive to Scouts this evening, landing on NPR and a quirky little story we missed the lead-in to. The segment was over in a matter of minutes, the span of time it takes to squeeze off a couple of rounds. Hey, I know! I used to escape to the pasture with the men to shoot at paper plates and empty cans just to spend a little time away from the daily sit-in of the women-folk at my mother-in-law’s table.
There is a company who has made a way for family members to celebrate their loved ones life by putting cremated remains into ammunition. Now, I don’t mean to be irreverent, nor would I ever want to offend a family member in mourning. Actually, I have to believe that folks who send the ashes of their loved one to be crafted into bullets probably aren’t easily offended … or we can hope not.
So tonight in the car with my boys, our car talk chatter slowly quieted and our brains caught up with the radio at just the perfect time in the story.
For Priscilla Isler, firing bullets with her husband’s ashes tucked inside is not about mourning but celebration. She even used a few round rounds to kill a wild pig that her family ate for their Fourth of July cookout.
Oh. My. Goodness. We laughed so hard! Not at this beautiful family, but the ideas we come up with to celebrate life. And the freedom some of us have to live and love and laugh even through the mess and the tears and the sorrow of saying goodbye. Some people are going to live out loud no matter who tells them it’s not the normal way. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just part of their legacy, handed down from one loud, free soul to another.
Isler says she can’t imagine any other way to honor her husband’s life than firing a bullet so he goes out with a bang.
Count me in as one of those loud, free souls. I’m learning to live and love and laugh through the mess and the tears and the sorrow. When I go Home I want those who have shared love with me to celebrate. I’m not interested in being loaded into ammo shells. No, not really. And I hope I haven’t given my Munition Squadron Commander husband any ideas. I hope my life has been marked and filled by God’s Holy Smoke, people drawn near to see the fire that burns in me. Mourn well, those whose shadows have disappeared in the Light. And at the end of the party, send me on Home with a bang and a drifting of Holy Smoke across the sky.
Dear Favored One,
Live your life in freedom, with joy. And when fear is circling overhead? Be part of the legacy handed down from one loud, free soul to another. Take aim and shoot fear right out of the sky.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10