Thursday, January 5, 2012
Harder Than A Masters
She came over to our place on Christmas day and on New Year's day I was crying at her bedside as I whispered into her ear how much she meant to me, my wife and my family. On Christmas day we laughed, told stories, ate a couple pies that she'd made and enjoyed a few hours together. She fit into our family quite easily. On Tuesday, I had just arrived back at the hospital room and was sharing a laugh with her children about a story involving their mother, my friend. There are so many stories we can tell because she was truly an instigator. She was the spark of dreams, visions, and many adventures. And then one last instigation: she decided in the midst of our laughter that it was time to make her ascent.
Her children gathered around her, the Elusive and I joined them and we laid gentle hands on her. And then, as her daughter said later, she seemed to slip right through our fingers.
There's no one who has left a bigger or more permanent mark on my life than she has. Today I find I'm missing the days we will not have rather than the times we've had. I have no regrets about our common past but feel broken hearted about the days ahead we'll have to face without her.
In the midst of this I'm learning what a life well lived really looks like. I'm learning what love does as so many shared in watching over her in these last few days. I'm learning how important it is to love now and tell stories now even as we make stories together that we can live on in the future. I'm learning that family and good friends are worth whatever it takes to have them.
From my friend Elinore I've learned what perseverance looks like. I've learned that you can be passionate about God without being weird. I've learned that you never give up on people. I've learned that whatever you put your hand to, do it with all your might. I've learned that we never stop growing if our hearts are set on pilgrimage. I've learned that some people tattoo themselves on our hearts by simple words and simple acts. I've learned that "holy" is a word that can be used to describe people who you really want to hang out with. I've learned that saying, "see you later." can hurt as much as saying, "good-bye."
I can offer no empirical evidence that Elinore left here to be There but I can tell you that if I was not convinced there is Life beyond this life, that moment beside her bed was compelling enough to make me a believer. I've been in that scenario before but never has it felt so holy, so tangible and so true.
I've got a lot to learn, but some things I know.
There are some great tributes to our friend here and here.