So my friend...the one who is on hospice care? She is basically in my thoughts all the live-long day.
And at night.
And I pray for her at every remembrance.
You know how sometimes you pray about something, and then you kind of forget about it? Not this. Not this friend...not this time.
I cannot let it go.
And so everything that's going on in my life, and around me, is now being viewed through the lens of my friend's illness, and the changes and loss her family is experiencing every day.
Which is why, when I see posts on social media like...someone complaining about the traffic in a certain area (this could've easily been me!)...someone posting pictures of their hair...someone posting pictures of every morsel they put into their mouth...someone wanting to know the best place to get eye-lash extensions...someone dressing up her cat and posting a video of it (yes, this happened)...I about find myself in a fit of rage.
Because, in the light of someone's tragedy...when someone you know is fighting daily through pain, daily through nausea...fighting to prolong life, fighting to die with grace...all the other stuff seems so...selfish...and unimportant.
And just as I was about to crest the summit of my high mountain...I remembered, Life Goes On.
I am the first one to post something trivial or funny on social media. You know I'm all about the humorous.
When my Mom died, we were all in shock. It was so sudden...so unexpected. She was so young. Only a few years older than I am right now.
I remember gathering at my parent's house in Tulsa. One by one, each family drove in for my Mom's service. I remember going to the mall with some of my family. My sister-in-law, Shelley, was looking for a dress to wear to the funeral. She said, "I brought a dress from home, but it's just not...right."
I knew exactly what she meant.
The dress would've been FINE and everyone would've thought it was FINE. And even tho Shelley knew no one would be looking at her at all...and even tho my Mom would've thought Shelley looked beautiful in anything she wore, Shelley knew her dress wasn't "right."
While we were at the mall, we ran into some of those "questionnaire" people. You know the ones...they come up to random people and ask them questions for a survey.
I remember sitting on a bench in the mall when one of those enthusiastic question-askers came up to me. He was all chipper and friendly...asked me how I was and all of that. Then he said, "what brings you to the mall today?" I said, "my sister-in-law is looking for a dress." Him: "oh...any special occasion?" I said, "Yes, it's for my mother's funeral."
And he just looked at me. He put his pen down, said "I'm sorry," and walked away.
Guess he didn't have a blank on his paper for that response.
After the funeral and we got back home, we tried to get back into the swing of our normal family life. I remember being in a sea of people at church...in the carpool line...at school activities...at sporting events...with friends...and I would feel like I was having an out-of-body experience. Because I could see everyone milling around, laughing and having fun, and all I could think of is,"HOW CAN THESE PEOPLE ACT LIKE NOTHING IS WRONG? MY MOM IS GONE...WHY DOESN"T ANYONE CARE?"
Because my life stopped on August 17, 1998...but the world kept spinning. It was so sad until I finally remembered, Life Goes On.
I mean, it was made to...it's supposed to...go on (and on and on, if you're Celine Dion).
That is why you can have sunny, blue skies on the day after a deadly tornado: Life Goes On.
This is why, hours after a young Arkansas girl died from being struck by lighting on an Alabama beach, the beach was again full of people: Life Goes On.
This is why, even after a fatal plane crash, the airports are still full...and people still get on planes and fly to their destinations: Life Goes On.
And this is why, after losing a baby, many parents will try again to conceive: Life Goes On.
And why, after all the shark attacks, people still get in the water: Life Goes On.
This is why we should be tender with people...why we shouldn't judge why they aren't grieving longer, or grieving too long...or why they seem angry at someone else's happiness...or why they seem sad all the time. Sometimes, it just takes us a little longer to catch back up. Sometimes we need a little understanding.
Sometimes, we need a helping hand.
Yes, life does indeed go on. And I think that, as hard as it is to take sometimes...it does offer us HOPE. Hope for tomorrow.
Jesus is our hope for tomorrow.
"...weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5