With the biggest event in GABC history, life at work and outside of work is stressful to say the least. We are now in the final days of preparation with little details surfacing, last minute to do lists, and tons of emails. It is so easy to get bogged down with the actual event and forget that life is about people. Today as I found my frustration rising due to an ever-growing list of things to do, I received news that a dear friend lost her mom suddenly.
My heart dropped. Tears immediately welled up in my eyes and my throat just would not allow me to talk. I immediately called a couple of Missy's close friends to tell them of the news. I started to think Surely Jim was wrong. There is no way her mother could be dead. Missy is my age. Her mom is my mom's age. This cannot be real. Maybe he heard it wrong. Maybe she was just in the hospital. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Deep down I knew those maybes were just that: maybes. But the truth of it is my sweet friend lost her mother today. It was completely unexpected; not that loss changes when you are expecting it or not. I cannot imagine how she is feeling. I cannot tell her I understand. I cannot offer any words of comfort. Reality is she will never get to talk with her mom again. She won't get to laugh with her, tell her stories, or share life with her.
I spent some time with a friend this afternoon as we made calls and just talked in between. It is so hard to process. It could be any one of us right now. Those words are so hard to write but they are so true. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We are not guaranteed our next breath.
My heart sank even more when I realized I had lost perspective in the last few weeks, months, etc. I began to focus on the tasks and not the people. I walked into my parent's house tonight and everyone was there. The three girls were playing on the kitchen floor. My mom, sister and sister in law were talking while they played. My dad, brother and grandma sat in the living room and watched a baseball game. Luke showed up a few minutes later. They were all there.
I watched my mom and fought back tears. Her love for each one of us and her granddaughters is amazing. She has taught us how to give, how to love, and how to care for others. Emily loves to be her little helper. Allison loves to see her "ma-maw" and gets giddy if you tell her Grandma is coming to see her. Madelyn Kate lights up when she sees her and will not go to anyone else when being held by Grandma.
My mom is my best friend. I call her four or five times a day, if not more. Even during those years of being a crazy teenager, I was the recipient of her unconditional love. She is there for each of us in a way that only a mom can be. Her love for others has taught me so much about life. Her love for us has taught me about the mother I want to be one day. I cannot imagine life without her. I cannot imagine not knowing she is just a phone call away or a short drive over to her house. I cannot imagine not having our crazy laugh fests that tend to happen when you place me, Kathryn and mom in a room together. We can laugh about nothing for hours.
Unfortunately, it often takes difficult situations to teach us the true meaning of love and life. My heart and prayers go out to Missy and her family. As for you and me, I pray that we will call those we love and tell them how much they mean to us. Jesus modeled a life of compassion and care for others. Yes, He understood daily life and to do's but the Gospels are relational, they are about people. He is about people and loving.