Late Bloomer

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

Psalm 139:16, ESV

I’ve been called a fair number of things in my 29+ years.

Mostly good… some relatively not favorable… needless to say humans and humanity can be hard.

We try to categorize, label and define one another. Things with definitions are safer. We can understand what we can box and classify.

Now, before I dive too far into this specific conversation, I am going to table it for now and move on.

Because what I actually wish to share with you tonight, aside from the theological and spiritual implications of words and labels, is a story.

On July 26th a beloved family friend and honorary grandmother of the Shears clan went to her heavenly home.

You may be wondering why this blog is being posted on August 14th in comparison to the number of days that have passed between now and July 26th.

And I am going to be completely honest-

1. Because I cannot offer another explanation,

and 2. Because all the explanations fall short of providing an adequate reason regardless.

Throughout this past year I have stumbled and failed in my blog posts.

Can I tell you the number of moments and memories which have passed- dates, anniversaries, commemorations of those of loved ones who have passed, where I didn’t write a post?

It began in February with Jamie and Mom. It continued into March. I managed to communicate something near Easter. I wrote a book somewhere in between.

My desire to write never ceased, but you should know words continued and continue to evade me.

Even now, this post feels insufficient to the memory, love and incredible legacy of this one woman.

I could repeat a thousand stories a thousand times, reworking words and vocabulary- and yet it would still fail.

Words would be deleted. Whole posts would be erased. Weeks would begin to accumulate. (Exhibit A: My 2020 Blogging history).

I have spent the better part of 2020 frozen and hesitant, intimidated by what I could not communicate.

What I have learned through 2020- is that somethings are like that.

More importantly, it is not an inefficiency on my part that leaves them like that. But a supremacy on their part that leaves me like this.

The love, loss and legacy of a person is something we cannot harness with letters or box with words. Paragraphs will fail to encompass, whole texts will always come up short.

However, the lack of ability to encapsulate should not prevent us from the attempt to communicate. (I told you I’ve spent a great deal of time in a dictionary).

In summary, where my words will fail, I no longer take it as an immediate sign of my incompetence- but a witness, declaration if you will, of what is something/ someone far beyond our skill to demonstrate through language alone.

A beauty beyond comprehension.

A picture beyond imagination.

Grandma Charolette once saved me from some words that were not so kind. And to ensure I fully understood just how “okay” I actually was, later that day she sought me out and found me on my best friend’s room.

Taking my hand, Grandma Charlotte assured me that despite what others may say, there was no shame in being a “late bloomer.”

“You see,” she said, “a late blooming flower is never actually late, but blooms just when it is intended to.”

And while there was a bit more to that conversation, that bit of wise advice has followed and sustained me.

Every societal benchmark I appear to miss.

Every culturally derived timeline I seemingly reject.

Every prearranged checkbox I fail to mark.

Grandma Charlotte, a little over a week from her 95th birthday, was a million wonderful things to more people than we will ever be able to know.

Her incomprehensible legacy is reflected in the love she shared, still beating and being written in the lives of her children and equally wonderful family.

Her influence still flowing through the veins of those who were blessed in knowing her.

From the ice cream, to the laughter and the confidence- Grandma Charlotte left her mark in the world.

Several marks actually.

Mine being only one heart better for the time that will be forever cherished.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life friends. I am sure there is something you feel you’re “running late” on, a To Do on the To Do List that is overdue-

Which is why I want to leave you with this bit of wise advice:

Take heart friends, where you are is not a surprise to the one who has ordained each day of your existence- before your existence.

Breathe. You are right on time.

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