The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

Bending Time

Dec 29, 2015 | god & grace | 10 comments

It was a book I loved, a good read that tugged tugged tugged at me until it pulled me all the way under. I was so caught up in the story, in fact, I abandoned my own writer’s habit of highlighting the superb passages, accepting for once they’d still be there the next time I felt the compulsive need to diagram a well written sentence.

That is to say this little line came at me like an arrow shot straight at my wide open reader’s heart.

She was grateful life could be long.

It pierced, this line, and lodged there.

She was grateful life could be long.


There are so many lives inside of us, I believe, different lives to be lived.

Perhaps it is middle age that has me focused so squarely on this notion. We move from one to the next without even noticing, teenager to college student to professional to spouse to parent to—well, you know, because you’ve been there. Not noticing because somehow, in the midst of it, you need every bit of attention to simply make it from morning alarm to bedtime collapse, cramming as much studying and working and feeding and cleaning and carpooling as you can, in between.


Pace yourself I tell her, this sweet daughter of mine, this college sophomore. The year is long. But at 20 she gobbles it up, living completely in the moment, never caring that tomorrow is another day. Who can blame her? This life is new, new to all these young people experiencing the surprising colors and textures of an expanding existence. They don’t yet know the virtue of patience—a gift they haven’t yet received—a gift given later in life to enable us to navigate a landscape that changes so dramatically over time.


What will you do I asked my friend Debbie, a bright light in this world who was three days into retirement. What life will you live now?


I wrote my mother’s obituary, a fact that still surprises me. I look back at those first hours after her death and see our emotions pooling in waves, moving son to son, daughter-in-law to grandchild, grandchild to aunt. We were raw and splintered, all of us were, desperately needing a little time to process, to think through, to absorb the grief at least enough to regain some footing. But there were decisions to make, proper decisions, decisions that needed to be made well.

And so they asked me to do it, my brothers, to write this accounting of her life from an insider’s view. But I struggled mightily, let me tell you, eventually accepting the reality that I couldn’t compose a single decent sentence unless I moved further out, looked at her life from a distance.

And there I saw them all, forming in front of me like acts in a play, an epic novel unfolding chapter by chapter. She had lived not one long life, but a thousand, changing day to day, decade to decade.


Patience is the greatest of gifts, I believe. Patience makes time malleable. It lengthens days and rewards us with seasons. It allows for love, real and rooted and slow-growing. It accommodates change. It tolerates mistakes. And it makes room for forgiveness, vast and deep, forgiveness that brings healing and calm and peace. Forgiveness that lets us move forward into our next moment, our next day, our next life, filled with excitement and possibility.

She was grateful life could be long, novelist Laura Moriarity writes of Cora Carlisle, an unlikely Jazz Age heroine in The Chaperone.

Oh yes, I say, in thanksgiving. Yes.


Bending Time first appeared on The Daily Grace in April 10, 2013. Thanks for indulging me as I repost it today. I will be back with original posts in January. That’s a promise!


  1. Jean McElroy

    I love your writings!! Please keep going, I look forward to reading your Daily Grace. Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year and many blessings.

    • Cathy

      Thank you, Jean!

  2. Jean Griffin

    My dear Cathy,
    Tears and chill bumps from beginning to end. My very favorite. Thank you for sharing your gift.
    I love you!

    • Cathy

      So happy you are a part of my life. Love!

  3. Rosie

    You are a blessing, as I told one of the Wise women last week. This reminded me of helping write Dad’s obituary. And at 20, we are lean and usually healthy, athletic, and heal quickly. Time IS malleable. But I look at Mom at age 92 and wonder if I want to be on earth that long. It is in my genes. But for the present, I will enjoy each summer with bluebirds. And a mockingbird that hates me. And braking for bees on the mower. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the years.

    • Cathy

      You are so right, Rosie. It IS a wonderful way to enjoy the years. Thankful for you, Rosie!

  4. Sharon

    GOD….. I Love you! Happy New Year Dear Friend!

    • Cathy

      Happy, happy to you my friend!

  5. Tim Steffey

    So eloquently written. Thanks for sharing this wonderful reflection of the ever-changing dimensions of life. Blessings in the New Year.

    • Cathy

      The same to you. Thank you, Tim!

Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

Posts Archive


Pin It on Pinterest

Verified by MonsterInsights