It was a busy spring for me. After five years of working on mother’s story, I finally had pushed it off to the publisher and celebrated with a trip to spring training and the Great Southwest. When I returned, there was something else to focus on: my son’s June wedding. So I enlisted the help of one of my best friends to help me shop – dress, jewelry, and shoes for the mother of the groom. (I hate to shop.) Success!
Cathy and I have been friends for over three decades. You might recall a blog I wrote three years ago when I helped her move from Kansas City to Ketchikan, Alaska. What an adventure we had (click here to read).
Last August, I helped her move back to Kansas City. She had mixed feelings about returning. She longed to be two places at one time.
It was nice to have her home. We went to ballgames, visited friends, and she helped me get ready for the big June wedding. As always, she encouraged me with my writing and celebrated with me when I learned that, while waiting for some final edits to be made to my soon-to-be-published book, a short story I had submitted to a magazine four years earlier would be published.
And then the day was finally here – June 25. It was an unseasonably warm day, but the wedding was beautiful. There was much to be thankful for and to celebrate.
After a joyous reception, I dropped off Cathy at her home. Before I could say the usual: “Call me when you’re safe inside,” she adamantly asserted that she was not going to call me. We both laughed.
Less than twelve hours later, Cathy had departed this life without notice, without warning. Gone.
I went back and read Ecclesiastes 3 again. I had experienced verse 4 all within a twelve-hour period, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. I didn’t have time to bask in the afterglow of the wedding.
Then a few days later, my world of emotions seemed small in comparison to a national tragedy, injustices all around. I want to scream, can we all just use common sense? Let truth reign! Can we pray for the wisdom of Solomon?
They say it’s all part of life, and we find a way to go on. In the midst of tragedy for a multitude, my personal hurt is still very real, my personal joy is still very real. Individually I want to do better and be better, and collectively maybe we can make a difference in our country. At the end of the day, I think I will ask if I have loved today.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
And so, here I am two weeks later. I miss my friend. I’m not sure the hole will ever completely close, but I did watch the mother/son dance video and smiled. I wait to turn the pages of Helen’s Heritage and see a version of A House, A Home in a national magazine – both in just a couple of weeks. And this morning, I will return to the office and hope that the office is still there. Why?
Because life, for some of us, continues on.