It’s been a strange month. Strange and sad and sweet and beautiful all at once. We lost Dave’s mom this month. Before she died, we were able to spend sweet time with her and some of her extended family. And since then, we celebrated her in a couple of gatherings that had her fingerprints all over them. And now, Dave’s immediate family is in Austin, having surprised us by flying in on Christmas night. We being old people were asleep when they arrived, so we didn’t experience the surprise until the day after Christmas, but their presence here has been sweet. It’s fun to be with them, particularly as we celebrate Dave’s birthday. I’m so grateful.
The normal has surrounded the loss and the celebration. Work. Training. Housework. Church. It’s all happened largely as it always had. Sure, there were days when we broke from those things, but those days were brief and somewhat blurry, and now we are moving back to those routines.
It’s strange how things continue when you think they should stop. I’m thinking that’s by design because pausing – really pausing – would be hard and would perhaps cause feeling too much. We can sit with what hurts or move through it, right? And maybe the reality is that we do a bit of both, not just in the early days but over time. One just sounds more painful than the other. To me, anyway. Maybe we are all different.
What I know in this season is that I love who I love and what I love. And I want more of all of that in my life, and I want to leave something beautiful behind when I go.
I witnessed so much beauty and love in Dave’s family as they cared for his mom. I saw so much tenderness in the man I love as he traveled back and forth in her last days. I saw so much drive in all of his family to honor this tiny little woman who moved energetically through her days and sparkled in a way that few can. And what people said about her inspired me. That she lit up a room. That she asked people about themselves. That she encouraged others.
Her legacy, as I see it today, is one of light, brightness, and radiance. That’s beautiful, isn’t it? To be remembered in that way?
What are we doing here if we aren’t lifting one another up in all our encounters?
As I think about the new year and plan, as I always do, for what I want the new year to bring, I’m carrying with me a great deal that I picked up from Dave’s mom. I’m thinking about how I would want to be remembered and adopting some of what I saw her do that really stayed with others. I don’t aim to mimic her. I couldn’t, as she and I are very different in some obvious ways, but I can learn from her and apply what I learn to touch people in my own way.
I want to keep with me the bits of wisdom she shared both in her life and in her passing. I want to keep with me the words of hers that I received and those that I happened upon in her home and in her Bible.
I want to love her family, not as she did – again because I couldn’t – but in my own way. And I hope my reach throughout my life is even a fraction of the reach she had.
Light. Brightness. Radiance. In presence and in absence. Light. Brightness. Radiance.