I’m an optimist… most of the time. However, in recent years I’ve learned that it is healthy to embrace all emotions… even the dark ones. One of my dear friends is in hospice, and the docs are saying the end is very near. You might recall that I was very angry at cancer last week.
On Friday morning, I made a 60 minute drive to embrace my friend one last time. It was a beautiful visit. While the end of a loved-ones life is painful, there is also sweet clarity that can come – in those final lucid moments. I’m thankful for the memory of our last visit, and relieved that I was able to say good bye. Tears, embrace, soul-to-soul, one last time.
Before heading up to see him, I wrote a letter. Writing clears my mind and frees my spirit. I debated whether or not to share the letter on my blog. I’m sharing it for one reason: I hope it brings you peace as you ponder those you have lost, seemingly too early. I guess there is another reason too… Bob had a strong faith and I know he’d want to share his faith with you now. I hope you enjoy.
LARGER THAN LIFE…
Dearest Bobby Brown!
I remember the first day I met you. You walked into our meeting with a radiant smile. The smile and the shoes. They’ll stay with me forever. The smile, genuine, confident and white. The shoes? Simply stated, they were bright orange. Larger-than-life, bright orange dress shoes.
Over the past decade, I’ve never seen you wear those shoes again. But they’ll remain with me forever. Your larger-than-life orange shoes. Not everyone can pull those off. But you, my friend, wore them with ease. The reason? You are larger-than-life. Always have been, always will be.
Bob, there are many things I’m going to miss about you. As I put these thoughts down, many memories come to mind. So much laughter. So much care. So much sincerity. So much creativity. What’s most interesting, is that your biggest gift to me, is the sound of my own laughter. How can that be? What a gift! When I cackle at ear-piercing decibels, I will again experience what sums up our 12 years of friendship. Authentic, gut-busting, life-giving laughter.
There is camaraderie between us…. I check Webster to ensure that I have the correct word… Webster confirms that Camaraderie “refers to the spirit of goodwill and fellowship that exists between friends.” Yup, that nails it!
I don’t want to say good bye. I don’t want to admit that you are leaving this world. In the physical realm, this is a very painful process. I feel that you are being ripped from us way too soon. If I could, I’d stand to guard them from taking you away. It’s too soon. It’s too painful. Why? Why damnit! Not now!
As I stand here fighting, holding on for your dear life, I’m enraged, confused and hurting. I glance up and allow myself to focus instead into your crystal blue eyes. I am now reminded that you are at peace. You are ready. Your faith has served you well. The grace of the Lord envelopes you in warmth and peace. Your journey now leads me to the spiritual realm. In the calm stillness, I can see you walking. Hand in hand with your Maker. He’s balancing you now in the chaotic waters. You are out of harm’s way. It won’t be long now. He has you by the hand. He always has. Larger-than-life, by your side.
Larger than life. Larger than THIS life.
Promise me, when I see you again, you will be wearing a big smile and bright orange shoes. I’ll know for sure it is you, when I see the shoes. When you hear my cackle, come running. Don’t delay!
Haven’t I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. For the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go.
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