Monday, July 28, 2008

Greater Love Hath No Man Than This - To Lay Down His Life For His Friends.

I’ve had a weird day. Well, twenty-four hour period, I guess. Last night, one of my best friends gave me the happy news that she’s engaged. We talked giddily about how he proposed, what they talked about, her ideas for the wedding. An exciting new beginning for a girl who deserves everything wonderful and all the love she’s finally found.

And today, I started the day by crying. Something tragic and awful happened in my sweet hometown yesterday morning. I knew about it then, but this morning started reading newspaper articles to learn more about what happened and why. I found an article about a hero. A sweet man who lived a good life, did good things, took care of everyone he knew and even those he didn’t. And he died yesterday. Why? So many people loved him, he touched so many lives, and I just cried.

One of my best friends has been in the hospital for almost a week with a very rare and scary condition that the doctors only just diagnosed but have yet to figure out what caused it.

Life is so fucking fragile. It changes so dramatically in a moment – with a blood vessel, with a door opening, with a first date. I’m reminded of the Joan Didion quote, “Life changes in an instant. You sit down to dinner, and life as you know it ends.”

I feel so aware of life’s unpredictability lately. I think since my grandfather went into the hospital a couple months ago. Wow, that’s weird. It was almost two months ago, I think.

I called him on a Saturday afternoon to chit chat for a few minutes. My mom and aunt were out of town so I’d been calling him every other day to check in. His wife answered and told me they were waiting on an ambulance to take him to the hospital. She made it seem like he just needed to see the doctor to get some new medicine. Then later that evening, while a dozen women were drinking wine downstairs, I talked to her, and it hit me how serious it all could be. I let a tear drop, then pulled myself together and went back downstairs.

I do love Elizabethtown, and Chuck is one of my favorite small characters. His first scene in the movie is priceless! It’s hard to tell on a small screen, but he’s wearing boxers that have his picture plastered all over them. He’s drunk and funny, but so heartfelt and caring. “Death and life, life and death, right next door to each other! With just a hair between them!”

But he’s right.

Death and life are right next door to each other. Blessings and tragedies happen every day, all around us, and we never know what’s coming next.

People are all that matter.

I joke that I’ve been a maid of honor so many times and think it's funny because of that movie. But it is truly an honor to even know these wonderful women. To be friends with them is humbling. I am so blessed to have such amazing, inspiring people in my life. They teach me, care for me, understand me, love me. I can call them at all hours of the night (and have). I’ve asked them to help me with a million things like donating to the charity benefit I’m organizing, deconstructing a fight I had with my boyfriend or moving me from one home to another.

If I did not have people to call when I need to talk or visit when I need to get away or to spend holidays with…I just can’t imagine life without the great loves I have in my life. And whether blessing or tragedy come, neither are the same without the people who share those moments with us. People are all that matter.

3 comments:

Carolina Girl said...

Great post girl! That is so true about being a bridesmaid - it's truly a blessing to be loved by so many :)

I hope your grandfather will be ok!

Little Sister Pixie said...

PL, great post.

Life is indeed fragile. The other day, my mother & I were discussing something when she suddenly mentioned my cousin's (Vira) name, which brought tears to my eyes. You see, my cousin passed away almost two years (at age 44) from breast cancer. She was very giving and her smile just lit up a room. We didn't get to see each other often because she lived in San Diego, but she was always there for my family. I miss her dearly.

I really hope your grandfather is doing better.

Penny Lane said...

Thank you both so much. Life is short and precious. :)

 
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