The past month has been tough on this girl's heart. Bad / Sad news steadily streams over the phone lines, as tears streak these cheeks. I'm reminded over and over of blessings and goodness and gratitude, which all help to temper my emotions, but don't ease the suffering of others or my empathy for them. I am also reminded of my fragile faith and the joyful, quiet strength I would prefer to embody, the trust in God's plan that I would like to have in place of fears and doubts.
The heaviness on my heart feels out of season amidst the pre-Christmas joy, but I can't deny it. I especially hold my little brother in prayer, as he continues to suffer from pain and hopefully will begin a course of treatment soon. It sucks to hear the pain and frustration in his voice.
Yesterday was truly a day of celebration - surrounded by people who loved Marypat, miss her so, but remember her genuine love and welcome and fullness of her life. Her funeral was unlike most - emotional, to be sure, but full of hope and inspiration by her life, and also full of color - as we were encouraged to leave the black of grief at home. She is remembered. I met her through the friend of a friend, and I can only say that my life in Denver could not have turned out as it did without her influence. Nor could my marriage - as she and her husband prepared Tom & I (over some delicious meals) for our big day. The anticipation of her passing was heartbreaking, as one more light dimmed among us, though an even brighter light now shines in Heaven.
The night before the funeral I learned of the passing of a friend's father and that of a neighbor. And we continue to pray for my family's pastor back in Oregon who was transferred to hospice just before Thanksgiving.
Now if only I can "keep the faith" and remember that this season is really about the anticipation of a little baby's arrival...suffering and death belongs to another season entirely.