My vacation week has turned out very differently from what I had planned it to be, but in a good way, not bad. I had great plans for reading books for hours on end and taking naps whenever the feeling would strike me, but instead I have spent part of my week with a very good friend of mine who very tragically lost her 21 year old grandson last Friday.
It's interesting, because Karen and I first became friends years ago when she lost custody of her grandson, a decision made by the powers that be for some inexplicable reason that will forever remain a mystery to me. I can remember sitting with her as she cried an endless ocean of tears. And now, I have sat with her again and watched the excruciating sorrow of a light gone out in her eyes. There are no words to describe her pain, or the pain I feel as I watch someone I love suffer in such a way.
My sister Brenda sent me this quote by Ann Lamott when she heard of Karen's loss:
"You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."
I know Karen will learn to dance again, and will not allow the hearbreaking loss of her grandson to be wasted in hers or anyone else's life. If there is one word that comes to mind to describe my friend Karen it is "resilient". I have watched her over the years endure many crushing disappointments, but she would always get up again, not just surviving, but daring to dance again, even if it was with just a bit of a limp.
I have a devotional journal called "Daily Moments In His Presence" by Frances J. Roberts, and this was the reading for Wednesday, July 28th:
"You are Mine. You are not your own. With a great price I have purchased you for Myself. If you will listen to Me, I will reveal to you more fully so that you many know more clearly how vital you are to My purpose.
There is work to be done, and I need you as a vessel through which to work. Not a vassal, but a vessel. I want to do a beautiful work. There will be inconveniences to be borne, self-pleasing to be laid aside, sacrifices and pain - but what a blessed reward I have in store. Yes, in store for you, if you are able to let Me use you the way I desire."
I have experienced these words this week, and I can truly say that I do not regret one moment that I have spent with Karen; taking care of her beautiful flowers, feeding her little bunnies, holding her hand as she cried. Each time that I would hug Karen she would hold onto me as if she was drawing strength out of me. I pray that she was.
Karen and I have been friends for many years, but over time with the busyness of life have not been as involved in the day to day details of one another's life. We always knew though, that we loved one another, and that we would be there if ever our friend needed us. The bond of friendship that women share is deep and fierce, and one of the most beautiful things that you can experience on this earth. I am so thankful that I was able to share that with my friend this week.