Miss You While You’re Here

Lately I’ve been thinking about
All the moments that we missed
When we’re younger we think we have plenty of time
And don’t think about stuff like this

We put so much off until later
But what if later never comes?
All tomorrows repeats of yesterdays
The future setting like the sun

I’m not ready yet to miss you
When I know that you’re right here
There’s so much I wanted to give you
Before my chances disappeared

Now it hurts that we talk almost everyday
And yet we never talk at all
Or that I battle with all these tempting thoughts
Not to answer when you call

Of course I want to be here for you
But it seems this is always where we’ve been
You telling me about how hard it is
While I listen on the other end

I look back and feel like a failure
I wish I could’ve spared you from some pain
But the best I can do is be a witness
And pray for something else to change

I still have hope that you’ll get better
That perfect love will cast out fear
But for now I’ll be grateful for what we have
Because I don’t want to miss you while you’re here
© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

I wrote this poem as I started to think about how many conversations I have with my mom are about how to make it from month to month. We talk everyday. Sometimes multiple times a day. But rarely are our conversations about thing that I would like us to talk about. Because of all of the stress over the past few years, there has been a strain on the relationship. I’ll be honest and say that often I am acting like I am her parent rather than the other way around. I want her to be safe and make decisions for her well-being. I know how hard she tried to be whatever and whoever she felt she needed to be to make sure we survived growing up. That took a toll on her. And I know that she had huge dreams–most of which never got fulfilled. This is a wound in her heart.

She always told me that she wanted to leave my brothers and I with a legacy. What she meant was money. That hasn’t happened and it saddens her. She apologizes for not being in a better financial situation and asks me to believe in her that she can still pull it off. I want to believe, but… And now that I am witnessing her forgetting so much and yet still holding out hope for a miracle or for her “ship to come in” as she says, I feel a twinge of regret.  I ask myself, “If I knew we were going to end up here anyway, what would I have done differently?”

At first, I told myself I would’ve stayed in the military so that I would have my retirement right now and I could be working another job to provide for her. But then I look at my wife and kids and know that I had to take the course I did.  I then think that I should’ve chosen a more lucrative profession than being a pastor. But then, I was having a conversation with a guest at the church who is experiencing homelessness at the church and watching members of the congregation–to include children serving food and sitting with our homeless neighbors and I thought, “I am glad to be in this moment.” And then I thought, well maybe I was called to be a pastor for a season, but now that my mom needs me, I need to move on and do something else because my responsibilities demand it. And then I prayed and I felt the spirit moving me to be honest about how hard this is and to tell my friends. And so I did. And they stepped in and blessed my family and gave me room to breathe so I could figure out how to make the next best move for my mom. They showed me the truth of the teaching that says, “[God’s] strength is made perfect in our weakness.”

And so then in that space, I asked God what I could do differently for my mom. And in my soul’s language I heard, “Don’t miss her while she is still here. Because that’s what you’ve been doing. If you want to have different conversations with her, change the subject. Talk about the things that you wish you could talk to her about. If she misses it and repeats something else she just said, tell her you love her. Tell her your dreams and maybe she’ll get joy in knowing that she is a part of them. Have an unreasonable belief in miracles because you never know what might happen. And don’t forget, you are not in this alone.”

So if you are reading this, what my soul spoke into my life, I speak into yours. There are so many things in life that can distract us from the moments we are in–something to tempt us to forget that there is always the possibility of great beauty around the corner. In my weakness, I found strength in hitting my limits and reaching out. My hope is that in sharing what I am learning, it is blessing you all too.

With true love,

Pedro

On Being a Moneymaker

All these years I’ve been living life
Like money isn’t real
Never making decisions based on it
But focusing more on how I feel

I’ve walked away from high paying gigs
To work in shipping and receiving
Just because I wanted to
No thought of what I was achieving

I’ve disappointed around the world
For not fulfilling my potential
All the while feeling quite at peace
With an air that’s presidential

I felt just like a rich man
Doing what I wanted to do
Never thinking that my bank account
Meant my riches were not true

I saw life as an adventure
A journey to be savored
All I needed was provided for
As if I lived a life of favor

Then someone brought to my attention
That I was not living life to plan
I should be a millionaire by now
Getting everything I can

But instead I’m still just bopping along
Doing what I do
Believing that everything is working out
In accordance with heaven’s view

But lately I’ve been wondering
What if I’ve been wrong
What if seeking Truth is a task for fools
And life was about Benjamins all along

Then that puts me way behind
I may never win the race
All my friends are miles ahead
While I was running in One Place

What if love of money isn’t evil
But love of God is the distraction?
What if I’ve been “bait and switched”
And missed my chance at satisfaction?

I could have been a moneymaker
The one calling all the shots
Instead of trying to know my soul
And purify my thoughts

I could have been stacking paper
Collecting fees and cashing checks
Instead of studying root causes
So that I can undo their ill effects

When I was busy seeking the Kingdom
Stuff was added to another
It might turn out I’m the prodigal
Being shamed by the other brother

What if YOLO* was the real deal
While I was thinking I’d live forever?
Which had me living fancy free
When I should have been under pressure?

When I was considering the lilies
And the birds of the air
I should have considered my 401k
Instead of casting all my cares

Well at least that’s what I’ve been wondering
For at least the past few years
When people were looking down on me
For not passing up my peers

They tell me that with a mind like mine
They would’ve managed so much more
But I said if their mind was just like mine
They wouldn’t be keeping score

The fact is that while I’m wondering
If my choices were mistakes
I do so from Eternity
Which is beyond both time and space

I can always be a moneymaker
In fact I’ve been one at other times
That’s why I know the value it really has
Comes not from what it buys

Money is a form of expression
For what you hold most dear
So what we have or do not have
Can’t make our riches clear

So the best measure of my worth
Is the measure of my love
And how much I can give of it
Is all I should be thinking of.

© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II

*You Only Live Once