Often a word with a negative connotation.

Long day at work.

Long line.

Long trip.

But can the term ever be welcoming?

My Australian blogging friend, Sean Fraser, is currently busy doing good work.

He is helping an old friend with a terminal illness.

Last week, he posted a photo with a brief description of a visit that he and the friend had made.

It is entitled: The Road Home.

They went to this farm property pictured below.

After I commented, Sean emailed me some additional details.

The farm was owned by Sean's friend; a place that the friend treasures.

But life brought changes and now the sale of the farm has been finalized.

Sean noted the following while pushing his friend's wheelchair on the grounds:

...I wheeled him around what was once the fulfillment of his long dream to have a farm. We pushed the hills, looked up at the blue sky and felt the cold winter wind wrap around us. It was a great day but I know neither he nor I will ever be there together again. 

In reflecting on Sean's post, I thought about his reference to "the long road home."

How most of us, depending on our beliefs, are either blessed or lucky to walk a long road home.

From birth to death.

I envisioned how Sean's friend would want that last farm visit to be a long one.

To be able to fully absorb the sights, the sounds, the smells; to remember what made that dream a reality.

I equated it to how we wouldn't mind a long lunch with a beloved family member or friend.

Or to close our eyes and savor for the longest time a spoonful of homemade ice cream.

A long moment to see our childhood home or our grandparents house just as we remember it, for the last time.

In this context, long transforms.

That word with the "baggage" becomes a gift that cannot be valued.

One to cherish.

Long is welcomed with open arms.

Thank you to Sean for allowing me to use his insights, and my prayers are with him, his friend, and their families during this difficult time.

Note: Hopefully, you have experienced that blogging can mean so much more than casually dropping a comment on another writer's page and hoping for a returned favor. That there are people out there like Sean, who genuinely care and make connecting with others around the world very much a blessed experience.

Several years ago, Sean visited New Zealand and thought to stop by the shop of author and jewelry maker Judith Sleavin--whom I admire. He thought of me and I wrote about his gracious gesture here.

To visit Sean's blog, The Dolls Point Blogger, you can go here.   


Hilary said...

That's very touching and tender. And as with most things.. perspective is everything.

Stephanie Faris said...

Aww. So beautifully written, it brought tears to my eyes. We all hope we have a long life, but we just never really know. So it's more about making the most of the moments we have while we're here.

Miranda Hardy said...

Very beautiful story, and a great reminder that there are good "long" moments.

Pat Hatt said...

So many great things can happen on blogger indeed. Long does have a way of becoming more of a want

Lady Lilith said...

Agreed. Long is very welcome with opened arms.

Lady Lilith said...

After anything long, I always welcome the ending with open arms.

Rachna Chhabria said...

This is so beautifully written. Long can be used in many ways.

Chrys Fey said...

This is a very touching post. Thank you for sharing it. Sometimes long can be a great thing, especially when we're talking about moments, happiness, and life.

Diane Estrella said...

It is definitely God's work, helping anyone with a terminal illness. There is no amount of training that can see you through the day to day ups and downs.

God bless.

messymimi said...

Some things are meant to be long, to be savored. This is a good reminder.

BobKat said...

I love this post as I can identify with it. It's poetic. Yes, "long" is a word with many meanings and much to use it for to describe things. Life is long, yet so short... and for some long is cut short. It's for those people I thought about, reading this.


Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Wow. Love the simplicity and beauty of this post. Very, very well said, Slamdunk.

Madeleine Sara said...

Thoughts and prayers to Sean and his friend. They will be together on that farm in Heaven one day fo sure.

Bijoux said...

What a beautiful reflection you have written. We often want events to hurry up and get here, but then we forget to relax and enjoy the moment. Thanks for the reminder!

terri said...

A bittersweet visit... and description of it. Thanks for a much needed dose of perspective this morning, about what is important in life and what is not. Love and friendship is everything. Everything else is secondary.

Janna Qualman said...

Oh, so well said. I love this perspective and can, myself, think on both sides of the term "long." There are long moments we wish to forget, and long journeys we celebrate.

Donna K. Weaver said...

What a lovely and poignant post. Sometimes our problem is that we don't know that our last time is going to be the last time. My mom died when I was fourteen of complications following brain tumor surgery. I drove to the hospital with my dad to see her the night before the surgery, but I hated hospitals and chose to sit in the car. I never saw my mom alive again. I'm a spiritual person, so I have confidence I will yet get to see her, but that is still a decision I would take back if I could.

Gail Dixon said...

I love this post! Very touching and made me think of what I long for. I agree that blogging is so much more than dropping a casual comment. I personally do it for the wonderful relationships that come from caring individuals. God bless Sean and his friend.

Brian Miller said...

in that connotation, long is not a bad thing at all...we only have as many days as we have you know..so we take what we have and make the most of it...and maybe we too get to spend time with friends along the way like that...

lisa said...

This actually made me tear up. Very poignant words that we all should take to heart so we don't take for granted anything in this life. And, on the lighter side, I have a positive *long* phrase: Live long and prosper! (Thank you Mr. Spock) :-)

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comments all.

@ Lisa: I had forgotten about that positive reference. Thanks for the reminder.

joeh said...

A well deserved POTW!!

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice, I imagine his friend may "stay" at the farm in mind and soul.

ed pilolla said...

there's something about conquering or neutralizing time and anxiety in this piece that really sets me at peace.