Monday, August 11, 2014

Celebrating Endings and Beginnings

It's funny how we don't realize the blessings we are in the middle of until we look back on them.  Not once, but twice, over the past week I was able to celebrate the lives of two very special people--one at the end of theirs, the other just before it is about to begin.

I have a dear friend whose mother passed away recently.  Her memorial service was last Wednesday.  There were tears and sadness.  But there were beautiful songs and smiles and laughter.  There, in the midst of what most would think of as a completely sad time, was joy.  So much joy.

I would never belittle someone's pain by saying that the death of a loved one should be an easy thing to go through.  That pain is real and everyone goes through it differently and in their own timing.  And I don't care the amount of preparation you believe you have.  When the end comes and things are final I can only imagine that there is no amount of time that will ever seem like it was enough.  There will always be a hope for at least one more moment, one more second, with the one that is gone.

Despite that, there is one wonderful truth that I took from the service that day.  That no matter how badly we may still want to keep the ones that we love with us, once they get where they are going, there is no chance they would want to come back.  Because once you are Home, once you have met all those that have gone before you and Jesus has taken your hand and shown you around Paradise, there is no thought of turning back.

So take comfort in the fact that their ending isn't an ending at all.  It's the beginning of something so wonderful we could never really begin to fathom it.

Three days after we said goodbye to one life, I met some girlfriends at Serendipity for lunch to celebrate our sweet friend Jaime's second baby--due in just a matter of weeks.
Summer, Stephanie, me, Jaime & Michelle

Baby boy Landon will join big sister Austin and we cannot wait to welcome another life into this crazy world.  A world that scares us, challenges us, makes us angry and gives us hope.  A world that we cannot wait to teach him about.  And he is one blessed baby boy to have such amazing parents learn from and share this ride with.

I love when a group of women get together to love on each other.  And that's what we did on Saturday.  We  giggled and shared stories and ate cheesecake with whipped topping and strawberries.  We talked diapers and toddler troubles and laughed about Jaime's ability to pose for beautiful pictures holding a container of wipes.  And it was wonderful.

Jaime's little girl--and now her soon-to-be-here little boy--will get to see these things as they grow up.  Women who love each other and love their Mama.  And the two of them because they are hers.

It wasn't until I got home that I fully realized how special my last few days had been.  Being able to share in both these times with people I loved was beautiful.  Life keeps going, keeps moving.  Just when you think things have stopped, you're proven wrong.  People pass on, babies are born.  Love does not end when life here does.  There are always new beginnings.  

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