I’ve made a conscious effort the last few years to soak up the good times. Be it the sun on my face as we hike a new trail, or the smell of Keely’s skin when I hug her, I appreciate this world I live in and the people God has put in my life. And I know I have many, many blessings.
But today is a melancholy day for me.
As we were leaving a movie today with Keely and a friend, I got a call from Charles. He was sitting outside St. Vincent Hospital. He had been asked to be with Dr. Mary Richards and her family as she was taken off life support. She collapsed at work one day, was admitted to the hospital November 17. She never left. One day she was fine, the next she was in ICU. Charles was devasted. It’s one thing to know what is happening, to hear that someone has passed. It is another thing entirely to be there. And there was nothing I could do. What words do you say?
A young husband and father shared the news yesterday on Facebook that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer. As I was reading other posts about parties, friends and fun on New Years Eve, I couldn’t help but think of this family, clinging together and looking at 2013 as year that would surely be life changing.
My friend Marty Garrison lost his brother in a 4wheeler accident before Christmas. One day he was there, the next he was gone. Marty and his family have a strong faith. But this was a dark Christmas for them. I thought of them often, knowing that they were celebrating our Savior and mourning Derek during this season of light and joy.
My mom is in the hospital again. There are no more phone calls, she only has moments of clarity. There are decisions that have to be made, painful for all of us. We are moving to an end, we all know what it is. My sister Tracey and I talked yesterday. I told her that I felt there was a kindness in the way Mom is going. We realize that she doesn’t want to be here anymore. She’s tired. She isn’t in pain, which is a huge blessing. She has lived a long life and we have wonderful memories. And one thing I know for sure. She knows that she is loved. So we comfort ourselves with these things.
The other side of love is pain. You can’t care about others and not hurt when they hurt.
So on this very sad and melancholy first day of 2013 I’m just going to wallow in it for a while. I’m going to cry, hot tears sliding down my face. I’m going to hurt for those that I know are hurting. And I’m going to hold very tight to those I love.