Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Always Have and Never Hold

I can't sleep. I drank a glass of wine. I took a Tylenol PM. I'm so exhausted, and I really need to sleep, but closing my eyes right now tonight feels selfish.

I went to a wedding this weekend. Two of my friends fell in love and are married. And I went with good friends and my sweet boyfriend. It was so beautiful, surrounded by so much love. It makes you feel protected. So I can't imagine how safe and happy my two friends must have felt.

That ended yesterday. The bride's mother suffered a sudden stroke, and today was taken off the machines keeping her alive. Three short days after her wedding, the most love-filled day of her life, she feels the most intense sadness of her life. I am constantly amazed at the suffering this world allows. It just doesn't seem fair.

And it doesn't seem fair that I'm safe and warm in my apartment, all my most loved ones still alive and well. It doesn't seem fair that I should sleep soundly tonight when a good friend is hurting so deeply.

I really can't imagine losing my mother. It's naive of me to admit this, but you know that saying? That God will never allow anything to happen to you that you can't handle? I think maybe it's in the Bible or something. Or at least I had Sunday School teachers tell me it was. Anyway, I always thought that was why I still have my mother. I'm afraid right now of writing these words and putting them down, like I'm tempting fate or the devil or some force in the universe to prove me wrong. It's especially ridiculous to write this down today when my friend is experiencing a tragedy she thought she was protected from for many years.

I could not imagine life without my mother. She's on vacation right now, and it's been hard not being able to speak to her these past few days. I can't imagine a lifetime without her nagging or her laugh or her unsolicited advice. I moan and whine, but I love her so much. I can't imagine trying to navigate through life without her or without any of my most precious people.

How does anyone manage to survive such dark places? I guess by focusing on the ones they love that are still here. Thank God she has her husband. Maybe that's it. She couldn't have survived this any sooner than the moment it happened. I'm taking this too far, I know. No one can find an explanation for tragedy, but I think part of that saying comes from the belief that God loves us. And other people love us. I love my friend. I wish I could be with her now and that I could take her pain away and put her on her honeymoon with her sweet, loving husband where she belongs. I would do anything for those I love.

I'm mesmerized by the trailer for that sad movie Things We Lost in the Fire. It looks heartbreaking, doesn't it? The song from that trailer gets stuck in my head.

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Be my baby
I'll look after you

It's always have and never hold

When tragedy strikes us or nearby, we're reminded of how short life is and how unpredictable. It makes us want to reach out to those we have and make sure they know how loved they are. And the difference they make in our life.

Go call your mom and tell her you love her.


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