I just finished watching the last episode of the ABC dramatic television series, Lost. I watched every single episode of every single season they ever made of that show. And here’s a major spoiler. Everybody dies. Yes. No one gets through that TV series, or through life itself, without facing death at least once. And everybody has a last encounter with it where they don’t win. Except they do.
In my Paffooney above, the door straight ahead is the doorway home. This Paffooney oil painting is called Poppa Comes Home. I am hoping that is how it will be for me. I painted this picture before I had a wife and three kids. So how did I know? Or did I simply make it come true? Is that what the final doorway is all about? You make it be the doorway you want it to be? The truth is, I will probably find out before long. I retired from teaching in rather spectacularly poor health. I’m not sure I really expected to last this long. And I may live another twenty years. But probably not. The thing is, when the door is finally directly in front of me, I will fear not. I will simply open it and pass through. I am at peace. I have lived a good life. I was a teacher. I touched more than 2000 separate lives through my various classrooms over the course of 31 years. I succeeded some, I failed some, I cried some, and I laughed a lot. It all means a lot to me.
As I write this now, I have spent most of the day sealed up in my room, on my bed with my laptop, suffering quite a lot with arthritis pain. Most of my days since retirement have been very much the same. My body, especially my joints, is wearing out. But endurance brings wisdom. Overcoming pain and the depression caused by pain provides me a deep, abiding faith and confidence in myself. I don’t know if I believe in Heaven, but I am sure there is no hell. God does not punish for a life completed, no matter how badly you may have lived it. And if I die, if the human race goes extinct, if our planet is destroyed, even if our entire galaxy winks out in the never-ending darkness of eternity, we have all accomplished a miracle just by the fact of our existence. The final doorway is the door home. I have no doubt.