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Plastic Bag

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Do you ever just have a moment where something catches your attention.  And in that moment you know that something meaningful is taking place?  It can be the most ordinary thing that happens, but somehow in the deepest parts of your being, you know that this particular moment holds great significance for you…

I had a moment like that today.  I was standing outside.  The wind was blowing and I was enjoying the breeze, enjoying nature, not thinking about anything in particular.

In the neighbor’s yard I saw a gray plastic Walmart bag floating around near the back of the neighbor’s shed.  As I watched it, I had somewhat of a deja vu moment.  I remembered a day 14 years ago when I stood outside at my grandparents’ house.  The kids and I were visiting.  My grandpa had just come home from the hospital that same day.  He had been battling with cancer for a few years at that point, and after that last trip to the hospital, it was becoming more obvious that he was getting closer to the end.

I picked him up from the hospital that day and drove him home.  I was quiet most of the trip back because, well, I was young and didn’t know how to deal with what was happening with him.  Not really.  But then a moment came where he asked me one simple question… “Kristi, how do you know you are going to heaven?”  I won’t go into all the details of what I told him… But it was then that I realized that he knew he wouldn’t be around for much longer.

We got back to the house and my wonderful, strong grandfather got right back to business.  He was tidying things up around the garage.  He was puttering around outside.  I could tell that he was moving a little slower than usual, but oh, how he tried to keep up his normal routine!  And then the wind gusted, and a gray plastic Walmart bag whipped by his head.  I remember him trying to reach out and catch it, but the wind was so strong that particular day that it slipped out of his grasp.  The wind continued to carry that bag towards the back yard.  My grandpa set off trying to catch it, but as the wind grew stronger, the bag flew farther, and it eluded him.  I remember the look on his face when he realized that he didn’t have it in him to go chase that bag down.  That look broke my heart… but there was resignation there too.  I often wonder if that was the day that he settled things with God and realized that he was ready to go home.

I have often been reminded of that day when a breeze picks my hair up off my shoulders, or when I see debris swirling around in the wind.

But today, that memory was more than strong.  It was like a living presence.  I will never forget seeing that plastic bag today or the memories that were stirred as a result of it.  It’s interesting how the past and present can intertwine.  And it’s even more interesting that all it takes is a simple plastic bag for God to speak to us.


I caught the sudden movement

From the corner of my eye

I thought, “This looks familiar!”

As the little bag flew by.

A scene played out before me

That had happened years ago…

My Grandpa standing in the driveway

As a bag flew to and fro.

The wind was oh so powerful

And that bag flew such great lengths

I could tell he longed to catch it

But he didn’t have the strength.

You see, the cancer, it was winning,

Slowly wasting him away

How the truth so suddenly hit me

On that unforgettable day.

In my mind’s eye he was unchanged

Always loving, and so strong

But the proof was there before me that

He would not be here for long.

Today I swore I felt his presence

As the bag went drifting by

I could almost hear him telling me

“I just wanted to say hi.”

Kristin Tucker Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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