Hey. So...I don't know...you know, right? Maybe you don't. I'll fill you in.
We went to visit Marilyn on Friday and had another great chat with her family. They are great people. ("I have only just met you but I love you."a la UP) After we left they called us to tell us that she had passed away. Then my heart was broken. Not because I was close with Marilyn, but because I didn't want them to have to go through that. Too sad. Also, I couldn't help but "liken" the situation to myself. They had a beautiful collage of Marilyn and it was amazing how much she looked like my mom. Same hairstyles, same clothes - they grew up in the same time bubble. I couldn't help but think about what they must feel like. Then I was not ok. I couldn't live a minute without my Mom and right then I made her promise me that she would live forever. Her answer came via text and it was while she was driving, so I don't know how sincere she is. Shame on her. But I forgive her because I love her with all of me and then some.
I remembered the feelings I had when my own dad passed away from cancer when I was 17. Lexi came down into my room early one morning and simply said,"He's gone." It was as if the emotions Relief, Grief, Peace, Longing, Happiness, and Wonder were blended up for me and I drank them down. The result was ok-ness. Peace prevailed. People came over and awed that we were not crying. But the prayers of our friends and the love of a sorrowful Heavenly Father, whom I believe only took my Dad because He needed him more, buoyed us up and carried us around through that time. Hearing all the stories and seeing all the people whose lives Dad touched was uplifting and happy. Now I'm on the outside looking in - feeling the same way the people who watched us felt. I'm wondering how Marilyn's family will get by. They just will. What choice do they have? I hope they will have the same feelings and help we had.
I also remember when the prayers and thoughts and donuts and visitors slowed down and eventually stopped. It was a physical feeling. Like we were set back down on the ground. It taught me to try to keep those going through troubles in my thoughts long after the commotion dies down.
To clear my head and simultaneously torture myself, I went for a long run. I thought and thought and thought, not noticing what was going on around me. Suddenly, everything felt easier. I felt almost... good? I pulled out of my thoughts and looked around. I had just finished climbing a long, ugly hill and was on flat ground. I wanted to kiss it. "Thank you for being flat", I thought. I realized that I wouldn't care at all if the ground was flat if I hadn't just climbed that hill. I hate hills. They're the worst. But they sure make you grateful for the flat ground. I'm sorry that we have hills in our life. I've had a few big ones and some other more rolly ones. They weren't any fun but they made me stronger and more able to handle the ones that are inevitably coming up. They also made me grateful for the times when there aren't any and put into perspective the size of the ones I do face.
Mary Beth and Joe and their families have to face a giant hill. I wish I could give them a ride. I wish they didn't have to do it at all. I guess all I can do is keep praying that they'll have the strength and endurance they are going to need.
And maybe bring them some socks.