Tuesday, October 29, 2013

With You In Mind... In Honor of Shane Foley and Amberle Woodard

This evening I joined my daughter and many other people in our community as we crossed the street from LJI - police escorted - to gather at the memorial of a young girl who tragically lost her life at that very place, on this day last year.  I put my arm around my daughter, consoling her as she grieved her friend, and then watched her proudly as she went to pay her respects to the family.

It was a precious sight to see...

such a large group of people, taking time out in their day to remember a sweet life taken, in our eyes, too soon.

As the memorial time concluded and we walked back to our car, I held her hand and watched all the young children walking and talking, each impacted in some way by Amberle's life...and her death. I felt my daughters sweet, 11 yr. old hand and felt sad that she learned so young the sting that death brings.

The void that it leaves...

Moments earlier when she'd approached me, at the last minute, about going to the memorial gathering, I was conflicted about whether to go. I had supper to think about, and it was getting late. I closed my eyes to gather my thoughts as she begged me, saying how important it was to her because Amberle was her friend, and I knew then that we must go.

Because I, too, know the pain that death inflicts...

I also mourn today.

On this day twenty-two years ago we lost my brother to cancer. I know how it feels to watch other people's worlds carry on, while your world is forever changed, halted - at best moving in slow motion...as you push through the painful fog that is determined to suffocate you. You watch other people move and breathe and talk so easily, and wonder how they're doing it...with such ease. People, unknowingly, tell you time will heal all wounds. And though it does not,

time does cause the fog to disperse and the breaths to come more easily.

I have looked at pictures and read many kind words today - honoring the life of my brother. And though people cannot take your grief and shoulder it for you, there's healing in those kind words that remember the one you long to see. There's healing in knowing they are not forgotten. That is why I knew we must go tonight and cross that street -

 life should be remembered.

Because in my pain, in my need for Shane to be remembered, I could offer the same to them - remembrance. As we stood near the family, my eyes locked on Amberle's siblings - of course - because
I have been there. And though I can't tell them that the pain will eventually go away, I can tell them that

the pain is a testimony to the love...

and that's ok. It's ok to feel that pain. Because it reminds us to respect this time we are given on earth - to live it well.

We live it well with them in mind.

Amberle - Tonight, we crossed the street with you in mind. We loved your family with you in mind. We live out the rest of this day with you in mind.

Shane - Today I spent time with Lanna, with you in mind. I looked at your picture and I read stories...with you in mind. I held your niece's hand and took her to honor her friend's life, with you in mind.

I live...with you in mind.

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