A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Short Drive

September 29th, 2008

Last Saturday I took Annie and Emma to their school’s Fall Festival. A fund raising event by the local PTA, it was a fun four hours of games, candy, hot dogs and Sno Cones. The students’ favorite booth was, “Pie In The Eye”. For just a few tickets they could throw a whipped cream pie in their teacher’s face; the thrill of the splat followed by the wonder if teacher will dish out payback on Monday.

After the sun and sugar had their way the girls were ready to go home. We loaded our loot from the silent auction into the car and rolled down 19th Street, happily chatting about how fun it was to smash confetti eggs on people’s heads and when we were going to use the movie tickets we’d just won.

In mid-sentence Annie said, “Whoa, Daddy. Funeral.”

We all looked to the right. Resthaven Cemetery. The familiar roll away green awning. A small group of people huddled in a semi-circle. An American flag fluttering in the wind in front of the honor guard from the VFW.

At 45 miles per hour the solemnity passed quickly.

We were all quiet for a moment. Even Annie and Emma, about to turn 8, seemed aware of the contrast. Just a few blocks away kids are running and laughing, playing ring toss and bouncing around on giant inflatable moon walks.

Such a short drive.

Near where I grew up in Iowa there is a quaint country church, surrounded by corn and soybean fields. A big shade tree sits on their property, the perfect spot for the playground equipment they erected…right next to their cemetery. Not even a fence to separate.

I recall thinking how odd to see monkey bars and swings so close to headstones. As if one has nothing to do with the other. Then a moment later realizing that, intentional or not, this was a picture of life. In the scope of eternity, the distance between the playground and the burial ground is shorter than we think. A quick ride down the slide and we’re bumping against the granite.

Glancing in the rear view mirror I see my daughters. My beautiful, sun-kissed, sweaty, sticky mess squirrely girlies.

Take them home.

Hug them.

Hose them off.

Hug them.

Eat lunch.

See if they’ll share some of their Pixy Stix while we watch Scooby Doo together and remember my childhood as I enjoy theirs.

It’s such a short drive.

“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12


Todd A. Thompson – www.ASliceOfLifeToGo.com