Monday, November 30, 2015

Only God~

I don't know how we first met, or how it is we became friends.
We just always were.
J, L, and me, the three of us.
First grade through high school graduation, we spent the years of growing up side by side.

I have no doubt in my mind it was God himself who orchestrated the details of our lives,
so we might live where we did,
when we did,
sharing our life together with who we did.

Only God.

There were a lot of similarities between us,
although admittedly more between J and L, then me.

J and L were both only children,
I had two sisters.

J and L's parents both owned VW bugs.
My parents were Ford people.

J and L both went to the small, country church situated on an old dirt road.
I went to church in a nearby city.

J and L both had birthdays in November.
My birthday came a few short days behind theirs in December.

We were friends - through thick and thin, and everything in the middle.

Now,
the older we get,
the more I keep finding myself in a place that seems to look back over the years instead of out in front to them like we did when we were kids.

And, I realize I have more in common with these friends still:

None of us, although we all married, had children of our own.
We were all Daddy's girl through and through.
And this year, - this year we all turn 50.

In fact, today is L's birthday and with it came the most unbelievable similarity between us all.
This morning, in the wee early hours of her birthday, L's father passed away.

I  awoke to this facebook message from J:
Just read that he passed away at 2 am this morning. My heart is heavy for her.

Almost 11 years ago, on my birthday, my father passed away.

And, years before that, on J's birthday, her father passed away.

(I'll give you some time to let that sink in.)

When J's father died, almost twenty years ago now, my heart broke for her and I remember thinking over and over and over again, how sad would it be for your father to die on your birthday? Little did I know at the time, I too, would experience this. And now, almost 11 years beyond my own dad's passing, L - today - feels this same incredible loss on her birthday.

My heart, too, is heavy for her.

Finally, early this afternoon, I messaged J back:
So very heavy - tears for her, all day long. And, if I'm honest, maybe tears for you and me, too, all mixed up and wrapped up with hers. Love you, dear friend.

J was quick to reply:
Yep...I had a hard day. Kinda relived it all over again. Tonight I'm better. Love you Esther!

(She always called me Esther.  Can I just tell you right here and right now how comforting it is to hear the "blessings" of your past, words and phrases from a heart that knows you so deep for so long - words that somehow have the amazing ability to ground and settle your heart when it feels as though it has had the rug pulled from underneath it?)

And my reply:
You're the best, Gertrude. Always have been, always will be. 

(I always called her Gertrude.  And, it felt good typing that name.)

I don't know how we first met, or how it is we became friends.
We just always were.
J, L, and me, the three of us.

And, I don't how it came to be that all three of us would experience such a heartbreaking loss on the day we took our first breath.

And yet,
even in this,
I have no doubt in my mind it was God himself who orchestrated
the details of our fathers' lives,
so me might experience what we did,
when we did,
sharing our grief together now with who we are.

Only God.

We are linked together still.  

And the tears we shared together today, 
in a bittersweet way,
are just as precious to me as all the laughs we have shared for the past half-century.

Yes, we are friends - through thick and thin, and everything in the middle.









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