As I sit here typing, Curious George is playing for the millionth time for Thing 3, Thing 2 is on the phone with his aunt, Thing 4 is sleeping & Thing 1 is at dance. It’s a typical Friday night at our home. Busy & quiet all at the same time. Yesterday I woke up to some texts from my sister that were upsetting. She found out a childhood friend had passed away. We grew up in a small town (well it was smaller back then) and we went to a small private school. I graduated in a small class of 40, with kids I had gone to school with since a little bit before the 3rd grade. Most of us have scattered here and there. A few still live there and are raising their families there. No matter how much time or distance has passed between any of us, in a very weird way I consider them family. So when I found out the news, I was heartbroken. Especially for this family. Our friend was a light in a dark place. When you think of a light in a dark place what comes to mind? Does the Bible come to mind? Does a visual? Both come to my mind. Emily was literally a light in a dark place. To know her personally meant you were able to experience her laugh. That laugh was full of life and happiness. To know her online meant she was full of faith and positive updates. For someone who had spent a good majority of her life suffering from migraines and chronic back pain, I would expect something different. Not her. I remember one of her status updates that in so many words said,… one day God will help the doctors fix my back and then I’m going to go and help the billing department who codes the insurance. They have no idea what they are doing… She could mix funny with sad and pull it off. Everyone who knew her was impacted by her. I’m one of probably hundreds who feel impacted by that loss right now. This brings to my mind the question of what kind of light are you… Who do you shine for? Is your light always on or just when things go your way. As I struggle to find meaning in her brilliant light going out too soon, I am inspired to be more of a beacon like her.
This Thanksgiving as you prepare and stress over your menu, as you deal with long lines with impatient customers for black Friday sales, as ask your kids to please stay out of the kitchen for the fifteenth time while you cook, remember to be the kind of light people will one day write about or speak about at your funeral. In the end, what you were is what you were. There are no do overs in life. We are accountable for every word spoken or not spoken in love or laughter.