For my Grandmother

I wrote this to be read at my Grandmother’s funeral today. Since no one will hear these words there, I still felt they deserved an audience. I still felt that my Grandmother deserved a memorial from me. 
Morning. I don’t know if this will be read in the morning, but it’s habit for me to start like that. This is a hard thing for me to write. It may be a hard thing for people to hear. Solomon wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV). He goes on to list that there is: 

“a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,”

“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,”(Ecclesiastes 3:2, 4-5 NIV). Though this is a time of weeping, it is also a time for us to gather together and not scatter. Though this is a time of mourning, it is also a time for us to embrace one another and draw near. This is a hard time in my life, and for those of you who were close to my grandmother, I am sure it is for you as well. In light of that, I wanted to share some words, stories, and memories to comfort and to challenge. The first challenge would be the one that Jesus always gave: let those with ears to hear, let them hear. 

So the first story is about a woman who just lost her brother. He had been struggling with a disease and well, he lost his fight. It is in this moment when her brother has been dead for four days, and all hope seems lost, that Jesus appears. Do you know what the first thing she says is? “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” I don’t know where everyone stands with God, I won’t even pretend I know. Maybe though, someone is right where this woman is, angry and upset with God. Maybe you don’t feel His presence or question His plan. Maybe you feel like He is against you. When Jesus says she will see her brother again, she says she knows that. She has resigned herself, however, that she will not to see him until she too dies. Here is Jesus’s answer to that in John 11:25. “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” (John 11:25 NIV). I could stop there. That is a tremendously comforting statement. Since Jesus is life, since Jesus is the resurrection, I get to live. Maybe because I’m a college student, and I’m used to reading for prerequisites, I see what the woman probably saw. You live, but you also gotta die. I feel so often, people stop at the promise of heaven. Yet Jesus doesn’t even stop his sentence with that promise. “and whoever lives by believing in me [Jesus] will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26 NIV). Jesus isn’t simply telling us to wait until we die to experience the Kingdom of Heaven. When Jesus spoke of His Kingdom it was always coming and already here. Jesus is not calling us to exist until we die, to survive until we die, or wait until we die. No Jesus is calling us to believe and to live. 

I learned many things in my grandmother’s house. Not to jump on the couch for one. I learned patience and problem solving working on puzzles. I learned from some string that some knots we tie last longer than others. More important than that I learned about love. I learned about self sacrificing love. The apostle Paul said, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NIV). In my grandmother’s house, I learned love. I learned the kind of love that cares for a grandchild who shows up at the crack of dawn. The kind of love that cared for a child too young to change his own clothing and covered in his own filth. The kind of love that makes room and space in their house any time a night needs to be spent there. The kind of love that gave without expecting in return, especially to a child too young and foolish to give the thanks deserved. The kind of love that leads a person to give hours that become days, days that become weeks, weeks that become months, and months that become years, of care, kindness, compassion, and joy. I learned many lessons in my grandmother’s house, but the greatest of these is love. 

My Grandmother Sandra Hamilton, or Grammy as we called her, lived. I can not tell you all the amazing memories that showed the life Grammy lived. When I was in her house, it was a time to laugh. Grammy had an amazing sense and capacity for joy. I will always cherish the many memories of her smile that could make a person feel good. Not only did Grammy live, but she was concerned with the lives of others. I remember how she always strive to make my family feel welcome in her house. I remember many phone calls and many questions about how my life was going. I remember that she would be able to talk with my dad for what felt like, and might have been hours, over their favorite basketball team, the Lakers. My grandmother lived. “and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26 NIV). Do you? Grammy lived. I know she would not want us to simply be waiting, trudging, existing, or surviving until we die. She would have wanted us to live. 

Are you ready for the crazy part? What if you showed up for a funeral and the person in the casket is not the deadest person there? Because Grammy believed, and she lived. Whoever lives by believing will never die. So I ask again, do you believe? The offer Jesus makes is as true today as it was two thousand years ago. The offer Jesus makes is as true today as it was when Grammy accepted it. The offer Jesus makes, still stands. Do you believe? Do you believe that Jesus and God are not thieves who come to steal away things and people from us? Do you believe that Christ came to give life? And not just life abundantly? A life like my grandmother lived, filled with Joy and love and the blessing of family? Do you believe that God wants a life like that for you? Do you believe he died to forgive you of your sins, not only so you can be with Him when you die, but so that you can Live? I ask all this, because I don’t want anyone to leave this funeral deader than the person in the casket. Which is a tall order because my grandmother lived an amazing life. So one last time, do you believe?

Another Apology

Readers, 
I wish to apologize for the lack of consistency with my blog. I haven’t managed to stick to my promised schedule recently. I apologize for that. I pride myself on my commitment to this blog and my readers. 
This blog isn’t a place for me to whine about my troubles. It will suffice to say that I am going through a difficult season in my family and personal life. Change is sometimes painful and I wouldn’t want it to corrupt what I produce. So, since I wish to continue to produce high quality work, I am taking some time off. My blog should resume on the normal schedule next week. 
Thank you for all your understanding. I am grateful for every like and reblog. It means a lot that people enjoy my work. 
Soli Deus Gloria,
TKH Hamilton 

If I Was There With You

If I had been there you’d be downright furious with me. We would have talked until the sun shone through your window, or until the RA busted me for being out past curfew. You think it’s rough what we did last night? Imagine if I’d been there. You’d be downright furious with me for spending hours with my new best friend and robbing her of precious sleep. I’d be giddy that you let me talk with you for hours. No, you’d only be mad that I kept you from sleep before an 8 am class. What would it have been like, if I was there with you?

If I was there with you we wouldn’t have laughed at you sliding from the chair. We might still have found our way rug-ward though. If so, it would have been received rather raucously with laughter. Your chair isn’t big enough for us to have started the night in. Oh we could squeeze into it, I can fit my chopstick of a body nearly anywhere, but it would have been intimate. Too intimate for the start of our shaded shenanigans. No, if I was there with you, we would have been on your couch. Perhaps we would have been back to back, the feeling of your freshly washed hair on my shoulder. Back to back you can feel every breath, the steady rise and fall of your partner’s chest. I wouldn’t just delight in the sound of your laughter, but the feeling of it as it radiates from within you into me warming my insides setting off explosions of glee in my mind. Sorry, that sentence got away from me. Instead of back to back, maybe your head would have found its way to my lap. Your head in my lap and my fingers running through that beautiful hair. Your beautiful hazel eyes looking up into mine. I wonder if that would have been before or after you got the grapes. I wonder if in person I’d be more or less the putty in those beautiful hands. I wonder if I’d still be feeding you grapes off the vine with your head in my lap. Actually. If I had you in my lap the answer would almost certainly be yes. Then again I wouldn’t know unless I was there with you.

If I was there with you would it have been as loud? Would our voices have shattered the stillness of that wacky Waco night? Would our laughter have rudely roused roommates restful respites? Or would our voices have been hushed, hardly heard whispers of our private thoughts? Would we have kept voices low? Oh, pretending to be considerate to your roommates, as we would be drawing near to hear the other speak? Drawing near to hear sincere speech spoken softly from heart to lips to ears to heart. Perhaps, though knowing us I doubt it, we would have cut out the ears. Maybe we would have spoken lips to lips. I doubt it, but I won’t know until I’m there with you. 

If I was there with you would we have stayed in all night? Would we wander Waco with one another? Would we have danced in the fountains in the darkness without a care in the world? Would we have found some place to loiter until light lit the Brazos, scattering sun skyward? Or would our legs have had us pacing your living room? 

Would your Writing Romeo have stood,

You think to leave you ‘lone for good?

 Would my Guitar Fret Juliet,

Have been in nervous pacing set?

Would our parental worries have set our steps far apart, or would we have stepped into each other? Would our parents fears and preconceptions have repulsed us? Do you think I’m so easily disturbed? I guess we won’t know since I wasn’t there.

If I was there with you would you have still called me yours? When you called me your penguin, I melted. I wonder if you still would have said that if I was in the room. Oh V, you and I dance perilously with our friendship. We toy with the possibilities of what we might become op and where we might go without a care. You play with my heart like a toy. Yet when you do so, it is so unlike most girls. They play with hearts as a mere fancy whim, it is to them but another passing thing. Yet when you do this, It feels as though my heart is your most precious plaything. As though if you were to break it, you would be devastated. I imagine, and hope, you would be like a small child rushing straight to your father to have it fixed. I wonder if dolls forget they are dolls, believing themselves more than what they are. If my heart is your plaything, please be careful. I beg you not to drop me when your fingers find the rough spots. I beg you not to throw me away when you encounter the chips, pocks, and scars there. I beg you not to cast me aside when you find my broken pieces. Those are from careless lovers, players who dropped my heart. If I was there would you still have called me yours?

When I’m there, will we talk about our secret? Will we discuss the thing we pretend wasn’t said? The thing that we refuse to forget. The thing we shared in heavy silence. The thing I wonder if we both secretly desired to hear. That thing. That terrifying thing that took terrific courage to say. Will we talk about when we were before each other with open hearts and found something wonderful? I don’t know what to do with what I now know, but I know I will have to figure it out. I will do that, when I’m there with you. 

By TKH Hamilton

Penumbra: CEO

The board room sat in darkness as Baron Von Todersfurcht limped through the door. He couldn’t tell whether most or even if any of the tall leather chairs were filled. The flash of lightning illuminated more than the dreary Seattle sky, it also brightened the board room slightly. Half of the chairs seemed occupied by his peers who gave him a wide array of reactions as he found his seat. The seat at the head of the table slowly turned as CEO looked away from the window. 
“Gentlemen! Ladies! Other!” CEO declared gleefully. His smirk was utterly unchanging as he did so. “Good news friends! Sales are up!” His smirk never changed. The sound of various degrees of clapping followed issuing from what Todersfurcht knew were not all living human hands. The sculpted face held its perfect form as he spoke. The words had an unusual quality and the voice slightly tinny. Each word was held either too long or too short with unnatural pauses between. “Now friends. I know we have had a rough couple months but it is time for a check in.” CEO, with a slight nod as his eyes closed with a click, made a wave of his hand outwards. “Todersfurcht how goes things with you?”
“Mein Fuhrer.” Todersfurcht swallowed back the gripping pain of his broken shoulder. “There has been a delay. The invasion-“
“It’s alrighty T! No worries! A small set back is not the end of the world.” CEO paused here and a split second later there was the sound of chuckling and a thousand tormented souls crying out for help. The latter went on far too long for comfort. Todersfurcht hated when Deresfjugosh Defiler of Worlds came to meetings. That guy was a kiss ass. CEO snapped and nodded appreciatively at the eldritch abomination who gave him something of a thumbs up with a mass of tentacles. “Thanks D. Anyways, not the end of the world. Though our business kind of is the end of the world. Isn’t it? People lets… Not… Lose sight of our goals. We want the end of the world and we want to be the ones who keep people safe during it.” CEO rose. He laid a hand on Todersfurcht’s bad shoulder. “We’ve come a long way from mere fear mongers and terrorists. We are close to the kind of paranoia my father, and yours Baron, could only dream of. We are near to the end of days. The end of days when people walk their streets without a dozen layers of security. The end of days when people risk betrayal by friends and family. The end of days where people live with risk, with pesky dreams, with even ambition. The end of the days of Penumbra ruling the nights and making the world unsafe. The end of these days people, with better ones ahead. Ones where we will provide security and insurance for the safety of the populace. That is why we started.” Rousing applause followed. “Now that means, we must redouble our efforts to sweep away all the competition. Penumbra must fall globally. We already dominate markets in the Middle East and are well on our way in Europe. So Baron T, our new man Jim will help you with the Midwest.” CEO squeezed Todersfurcht’s shoulder and leaned down. The pain rippled across the Baron’s body as CEO whispered in his ear. “Don’t disappoint me.” 

By TKH Hamilton 

So this concludes season one of Penumbra! I hope you enjoyed, and there will be more Penumbra coming up. I’m going to take a hiatus to prepare all, or at least most, of season two. In the meantime, I will post other fiction I work on. Thank you for all your support.
The Poet Player,
TKH Hamilton