A few years ago I connected with a high school friend. It had been 30 years. Neither of us had attended any of our class reunions. Both of us had remained in our hometown yet we had never crossed paths.
And then....Facebook evolved. So needless to say, our 30th class reunion was a blast. We have stayed in touch and over the past few years have spent many a night with cheeks hurting from laughter. And as with any friendship, we have shared a few tears, too.
We spent an evening together before Christmas full of holiday cheer but suddenly that cheer turned into sorrow and tears as her Mom departed this life early Christmas morning.
Wow. Definitely a shock. I know firsthand what it is to lose a parent and honestly haven't found anything quite like it. For your entire life you have someone that loves you unconditionally. Whether or not they agree with you, they are there. Always. They listen to you. They look at you. They pick you up when you fall. You just know they are always there. And then the inevitable happens and they are gone and NOTHING is ever the same. You are forced to find a new normal. Pick up the pieces. Live with regrets (if you have any) and move on.
My heart went out to her but even though I had experienced a similar situation, her pain was real. She had to learn to find that new normal. She had to hold those memories near to her heart and constantly remind herself of all the wonderful times. That my friend, cannot be discounted. It is a very, very difficult task.
I sat in the back at the funeral and observed. When she was weak, her husband was strong. When he struggled, she touched him and smiled. It was very clear that as a team they would get through this. They were helping each other in this difficult, sad time. That made my heart smile.
I listened as loved ones shared their stories. I listened as the words this daughter had written were shared with us. And that’s when I had to fight the tears. We are the same age which means we have shared the same time with our parents. She talked about all the fun times. How her mother had always been there for her. Had loved her unconditionally. How she would miss her so. And suddenly as I sat there, perspective presented itself.
Life is short. Regrets are much more difficult to live with than forgiveness and peace. I thought about what I would say (and remembered the words I wrote and spoke about my Dad). And from that pew in the back of the church, I made a commitment to try to do better. To work hard to not have any regrets. To understand people and accept what I cannot change. And talk about perfect timing…..it just happened to be 4 days before the new year would start and I am NOT one to set New Year’s Resolutions, ha!
So my words here are really to keep reminding myself that God puts us in places for a reason. God brings people to us for a reason. And most importantly each day is a gift. Tomorrow may not come and I hope to not have any regrets.
My apologies for this being such a deep, emotional post but those of you that know me, know that this is where I share my thoughts. Mostly for myself but also for those that know and/or love me.
And on a lighter note, it's HUMP day….hehe
and tomorrow is Friday eve! Yay