Hope Torn Apart


While I struggle at times with not knowing the why, I believe all things happen for a purpose. For instance do I see my mockingbird because I am to be attentive to something or just to enjoy the song, do I see the ladybug because I need to know that there is a greater gratitude for actions or do I need to find an inner patience in the darkness, do I keep having thoughts of a friend lost to breast cancer because I need to focus the promise I made to honor her? The other day a friend asked why I say the things that are sometime difficult, why I always say how I care? This morning a neighbor stopped by and our conversation again fell on her and the impact of her loss.

She was a wonderfully kind woman with a faith on the surface that appeared unshakable. She was a devoted mother and wife and while her early relationship was not ideal, she found her happiness and loved with a ferocity that still shows in her children.  I struggled with her loss on so many levels.  While standing in the mess of my family struggle, working to ground my children in their new life and keep us moving forward with a focus on love, respect and honesty I was so very confused as to how someone who was fighting so hard to be healthy, to be with her family, to love them enough in the last few months to last a lifetime could be taken away while others I was seeing would disregard their own children, to choose to toss them aside for his own shellfish reasons. I am unsure I will ever understand the disparity I see in those moments.

Sitting in a beautiful chapel the morning of her service I watched how so many were honoring her; the group of high school girls there to support her 17 year old daughter, not knowing the magnitude of the loss, of all the things she will not do without the presence of her mother; the husband being stoic surrounded by their family and friends; the young son who had struggled to find a family at first and now to again lose a mother. The sermon was beautiful, with the young clergy doing one of his first service and talking of the struggle we have in understanding such a loss,  talking of why people are taken he too cried. As he read an influential bible verse in my life, 1 Corinthians 13 4:7,  I set there thinking of all she had left undone, all the words of encouragement she could not say to her children, all the events she would miss, all the words of love she could never say to her husband, daughter and son. At that moment I decided the best way to honor her was to never leave things unsaid.  To give without expectation and to love unconditionally has always been foundational in my beliefs and to add to that the need to acknowledge the things that needs to be said; how you value a friendship, why you love someone, the gratitude for sharing part of my journey with someone. I do not want to leave the world leaving things unsaid.

Said it’s a mean old world, heavy in need. That big machine is just picking up speed

~Gillian Welch


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