I've been consumed for the last week with eclectic emotions. Grief. Pain for those pained. Anger. Peace.
Excitement for what may lie ahead. Driven. A desire to right the wrongs. Soaking up all the wonderful moments from the holiday.
When and how much should I put myself into someone, and when is it best to let it go.
I thought I was done crying, but I need one more really good cry.
My High School friend died the most tragic death I could dare to imagine. As the memories ran through my head, I'm haunted by the words "I'll be there for you.." that we heard over and over to Chicago and back on tape? or radio? I'm not sure. After that road trip, I went to college and left her behind. And she must have needed people, not that she didn't have friends, but sometimes an old friend that knew you way back when is an asset. As I looked at her lifeless body, she was nothing like the young innocent child who took her first drink after our prompting. The one who encouraged me through my toughest year in High School. The one who discouraged our cliquish gossip. Yet, when you know someone, you always know someone. At least something about them. Maybe even something her more recent friends didn't know.
Does this change the way I want to treat my friends? You betcha. Wow, the thinking I've done.
Tomorrow my Great Aunt Verna will be buried. I can't go to the funeral. She was a wonderful woman. I didn't go to her sister's either. She was my Grandma Friday. I didn't say good-by to my Grandma Friday. I had the flu, and so did Savannah, then 7 months old. She wasn't the same either. She wasn't the Grandma that I loved to go stay the night with, no matter how tiny her house was. The one that gave us Tony's pizza and canned peaches. The one that always stocked her refrigerator with cases of pop in hopes that we would come by to drink them. The one who would talk to me on the phone. She was so old, just a shell of the woman I remembered. Aunt Verna reminded me of her, though. Now they dance together.
I would like to move to land that my Grandparent' s owned. That may or may not happen. Either way, the thought is exciting! Seven years ago, when she was still alive, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. Now a legacy seems important.
People are gifts. Grace makes them beautiful.
I love what Ecclesiastes says.
For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For the memory of them is forgotten.
Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.
Go, eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.
Let your garments always be white,
And let your head lack no oil.
Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
I returned and saw under the sun that
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understand,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.
For man also does not know his time;
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.
From my thoughts, this is what I have the confidence to share:
Fall in love with God. Know Him, listen to Him, worship Him, and follow Him. Follow His plan, knowing that people are always part of that plan. Tune out anything that contradicts that plan. Put all of your eggs in one basket. Get excited about it, and don't be ashamed.
Don't try to win anything, just give your best in everything. Winning may or may not accompany your efforts, but blessings will. Do the things you love, for those are the things God as "put in your heart to do". Make your self vulnerable. God loves you, and nothing you do can strengthen or weaken that love, so don't ever try to. Just try to let others know that they are loved, too.
Laughing is okay. Doing fun things is okay. Girlfriends are okay. Buying nice things within your budget is okay. Being passionate is okay. Eating ice cream is okay. Dreaming is okay.
And finally, if you want to leave this world with a positive legacy, the best way is just to leave that up to God. For if you want to be used for the good, He will take you up on that!
I wish you the peace that God intends for every person under the sun.