Beauty That Lives On…

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Beauty mixed with pain

This idea has been on my heart again ever since booking plane tickets Monday night to head back to Arizona. A long time friend of mine called me Monday morning to let me know her dad had died. He had been battling cancer for a couple of years. Yvette and her family were by my side 23 years ago when I lost my mom to cancer. I’ve cried several times this week for my friend and her loss but I realize that some of those tears are tears that seem to come from more of a place of deep gratitude. It’s a gratitude that aches in such a profound and beautiful way the only way I know how to express it is through tears.

Over two decades ago, my friend was there for me, and she has been consistent at showing up for many other challenging times in my life too. When I look back on that season of losing my mom, this is what I am most thankful for…a second family who took me under their wing and cared for me as their own. I’m not sure I can think of anything more beautiful than that.

As I was talking to Yvette on the phone yesterday and making a plan for my visit I couldn’t help but think about how life continues to go on after we experience loss. You have to decide what to have for dinner after a loss just like you have to decide what’s for dinner before a loss. There’s this hole in your heart and yet you still have to make decisions and choices about things that seem so trivial.

There were several times on our phone call yesterday when we shared moments of laughter. It’s weird how a part of you feels funny (almost guilty) for laughing at such a time as this…but then this other part of you knows that life goes on. Yesterday I remembered back on those moments of laughter through my own grief journey. I am so thankful for those glimpses of beauty that show up in seasons of pain. And no amount of pain can lessen this beauty…in fact pain only magnifies how beautiful something is.

laughter, friendship, love.

Everything is stripped away and we can see clearly the incredible beauty of these precious gifts.

I’m heading back to Arizona this weekend in hopes of achieving the impossible: to repay a debt that I know I will never be able to repay. No, I can’t repay. The only thing I can do is show up and choose to walk with my friend the way she chose to walk with me.  Some steps will contain tears. Some steps will contain laughter.  But there is no place I would rather be but by her side.

Beauty mixed with pain

 

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