It is remarkable to me how a letter written by one we love, a few short sentences jotted down by a person we hold dear, words of wisdom shared by family we respect can break our heart, make us realize the importance of this world and cause us to grow in a single instance.
15 years ago I met this lady, who was a whirl-wind of fabulous. Tall and thin, feisty and out spoken, she held nothing back, laid it all on the table, spread it out on the floor, exposing what was. At 16, I was in awe, everything I wasn't in a remarkable package of get the job done, instruct, share your opinions and never doubt how I feel about you. How funny that I prefer people who are like this, never wondering what they think, fully exposed, even when what is coming out of their mouth is not exactly what I want to hear.
Years have gone by, my life has changed, kids added, visits far between, but these letters have come throughout the year. I have learned her story, been amazed at her strength, saw God in her even when she didn't mention Him. Every visit, I have learned about faith through struggle, love and compassion, and beauty in welcoming people into your home to enjoy your offering to them.
I would like to think these things come with age, that we are molded by experiences, that I will be this in 30 years.
As I sat in my car reading this card she wrote our family, thoughts filled my head. Here is what she said, "Thank you for the picture you sent "one last time." Wishing you an amazing New Year "one last time." Simple words but how extraordinary.
Two years ago she lost another husband to death, siblings have past away, loved ones have died in her life. She has cleared out, cleaned up, simplified the things in her home, prepared for her own wonderful soul's departure and still she remains. Praying every night that she will see the Lord soon and every morning awaking to a new day.
Sitting there reminded of what her heart's desire is, what she cries out to God for, I felt selfish for even hoping I get to see her again, foolish for not always realizing that this may be the last time for everything and conflicted on why God keeps a few here for so long and takes so many away after only a short while. Know this I am not questioning, not doubting, just one of those many things that I don't understand. Speculating on if it is better to be ready and waiting or feel like it is too soon, with your list of "what I wanted to do" in your hand when you take that final breath.
To be honest I have put off writing this, not totally comfortable with the words in my head and not at all able to control my emotions each time I thought of that note. However it kept coming back to me, leaving me in deep thought, and each time reminding me how thankful I am to not be in charge of my end/beautiful beginning.