While driving home from running a few errands this morning, I had a sense of "Everything is going to be okay" wash over me. I immediately burst into tears. I don't know everything is going to be okay, just like I don't know that everything is not going to be okay. We know nothing. Not from one minute to the next. This can be an exhilarating thought or an overwhelming one. Right now, it's overwhelming to me. I've lost two friends in the last 2 months- one very suddenly and one whom I should have known would leave us early. On Sunday, I spent the day with my friend Trycia's family and friends at her parents house, celebrating her life and all that she meant to us. There were some tears, but mostly there was laughter. SO much laughter. It was amazing, and when I thanked her Mom for having us, she said, "Oh absolutely! Trycia ordered this." She's right- Trycia would have loved this. In some small way, we all felt that Trycia was right there with us, laughing along and enjoying so many of the people that she loves. I took a few photos to remember the day, and when I got home I uploaded them and began looking through. Something weird happened: As I began to look at the two group shots we took together, I noticed a "blur" of light along the right side of the photo. At first, I thought it might have been a smudge on my lens, but as I clicked to the next picture...no blur. Then 6 photos later, in a picture of me and my friend Jen, there it was again. Two pictures in a row, shot at different distances. I got goosebumps. I want you to look at these photos...what are your thoughts? It might very well be that I am just trying to make sense of my friend being gone...my wanting to feel that she is still "here" in some way...
And yet, it's kind of unexplainable...It's kind of hard to deny that she was really there.
Before I left yesterday, I gave a card to Trycia's Mom that contained a brief note and the $650 (!!!) we raised as a small cushion to help Trycia's family with whatever financial burdens they may be dealing with now. It isn't an amount of money that changes the world, but it was heartwarming to see people- strangers, acquaintances and close friends alike, give a little to a family who has lost a lot. Thank you. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all who donated:
I spoke to Trycia's Dad before I left. He told me: "Hug your boys tight. Trycia was always a joy to me. I couldn't take my eyes off of her when she danced." I know what he means. I have hugged my boys just a little tighter lately, and although I have been preoccupied with the loss of my friend, I think now is the time for me to share a taste of the happiness that was my boys' Birthday Party. They turned 2 and 5, and I created a fun "Under The Sea" party to help ring in a new year for each of them...
It was genuinely such a wonderful day and wonderful party. To see my boys' faces light up over every detail- the cake, the favors, the slip n' slide...Christian actually said to me the day before his party, "I really love you, Mom. Thank you for doing all of this." My heart melted.
In the process of trying to deal with the loss of my friend, another friend of ours expressed fear over getting married or having kids...because things like what happened to Trycia, happen to people all of the time. She's right: Choosing to love big, means risking much. But when I think about all I would have missed out on if I would have played it safe, I would have missed TOO much. I would have missed all of the years of laughter, love and respect for and from my friend Trycia. I would have missed the miraculous experience that is that of getting married...and then later getting pregnant, giving birth and being brought to my knees over the vulnerability you experience as a new Mother. I would have missed the most joyous and elated smile I have ever seen on my son Christian's face when his friends and family sang happy birthday to him at his party a few weeks ago. The amazing, good memories far, FAR outweigh the challenges. It's harder to trust and remember that life will never give us answers, we'll never know what's around the corner, but in loving big the rewards are plentiful and sweet.