A friend has passed away. One that I've only seen twice since I disappeared, but treated me with kindness and love throughout my entire life. Now I sit here, close my eyes, and focus on her face. The flood of memories that are welling up surprise and delight me, but at the same time the tears come. Tears of joy that I was one of the privileged ones that loved and was loved by this woman, and tears of sadness that I won't have a proper opportunity to get to know her again. It is a reminder of something I had started to lose sight of....we have to hold on.
Hold on to what? Everything.
Hold onto our friends. Tell them every day how much we appreciate that they are our friends. That we love them more deeply than we love ourselves. That we are blessed by the joy of having them in our lives. That we are overjoyed they chose to love us back.
Hold onto our families. Tell them that we know God knew what He was doing the day he sent us to them and vice versa. That we couldn't ask for more than what we have been given, and we would never truly want less. (Even the family that annoys and hurts us serves a purpose, and we need to be thankful for all of the people in our lives. In other words, not just for those we would have chosen, but for those that were chosen for us outside of our feeble wisdom.)
Hold onto our enemies. Our lives would be boring without trials and tribulations. We would never appreciate the sunshine without the clouds. We would never appreciate the warmth without the cold. And, we would never fully appreciate our loved ones without those who make our lives a little bit miserable by their mere existence.
Smile at the good times, and don't be afraid to cry at the difficult ones. Don't let others make you feel ashamed for tears of anger, embarrassment, laughter, or sadness. God gave us emotions and the ability to express them for a reason. Use what He has given you.
To a wonderful woman who never forgot that God loved her no matter what difficulties arose in her life, and never forgot that He wanted her to shine the light of that love for everyone around her to see. We love you Lois Dailey. We can't wait until the day we see you again. Until then, we will take care of each other as you would have always wanted us to. We will love each other as you loved us, with God's love shining through us.
Peace be with you!