Yesterday, one of my former high school classmates passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. She leaves behind a husband and three darling sons. I've been praying for her along this journey, through remission and recurrence, through highs and lows and I just cannot wrap my brain around the fact that she is gone.
Just over a month ago, a darling lady that I met while in a Bible study passed away. One day she was a vibrant, healthy 76 year old sweetheart who blessed the socks off of everyone she met and the next she was in ICU dying from complications of pneumonia.
While I loved both of these ladies dearly, I wasn't particularly close with either of them. At least not in the way that warrants frequent phone calls or unplanned visits.
I guess that's why the intense grief I've felt at both of their passings has caught me off guard.
When Mrs. Jeannie died in December, I felt her loss in a way that surprised me. During her short bout with illness, I prayed fervently that she would be healed. I bugged our mutual friends who attend her church for an update, so afraid I'd miss an important change in her health. And when she was gone, I felt like the world was robbed because we didn't get to have her around to cheer us on anymore.
Much the same as, I've been on pins and needles hoping for good news from my childhood friend. When the news came that she'd been moved to a hospice center, I still had hope though deep down I knew that the end was near. And, now she's gone. That feeling of deep sadness and injustice takes over once more. She's a mommy. To three boys. Lord, they need her. Why?
Though I am talking much about my own feelings, please do not think this is about me. It's not. Both of these ladies were incredible. Both lived life as if they were in love with it. They enjoyed every second that they were given. Even in illness, the worst kind of illness that robs you of everything that the world holds dear, my friend was so strong. She was an encouragement to others. She was rarely seen without a smile. She spent every second she had enjoying those boys and making memories with them. She fought so hard. They both did.
So, tonight, I am trying to break out of the "Why?" zone. I'm trying. Instead, I want to show how inspired I am by two amazing women. These two women who never met are forever entwined in my heart. I tend to get so caught up and bogged down by life's inconveniences that I miss some of the most beautiful parts. I don't want to see how amazing life is through hind sight. I want to look every day straight on with a smile.
My friends we both so encouraging to others. I will be, too.
They smiled, even in the toughest of circumstances. I will, too.
They loved deeply and with the purest of hearts. So will I.
They lived each day as if it were the best they'd ever had. Then, so can I.
They fought hard. We all do.
I will not simply grieve and move on. I will grieve and be inspired.