Why is it so often that we wait until a person is already passed to celebrate their life? I realize this is the most commonly done and appropriately so at the funeral - expressing how special a loved one meant to us - but waiting for a time when the person cannot hear and appreciate that love is almost useless...so it seems.
Why dont/cant we live our lives in such a way to be a blessing, appreciating the ones we love, celebrating the lives of those all around? Life is hard and it just doesn't work that way. Well maybe that should change. Maybe that cant be the excuse any longer.
My father in law - Dave Gray - is an incredible man to every person that has had the privilege of meeting him. He taught and coached in the same town for well over 30 years. I remember coming home with my, then boyfriend, now husband, to visit and get to know his family. Every trip was the same. Person after person randomly stopping by to ask for advice, wanting to say thank you, just dropping by to say hello, give a gift, etc.- all to or for Mr. Gray. If it only happened on 1 visit I dont think it would have made such impression on me, but no! This is something that happened every time I was in town and something my husband says happened his whole life growing up in his home.
My daughter ran cross-country for the first time this year. One of her meets was in the town my father in law lives in and coached all those years. In honor of him, NCOE hosts a huge cross country invitational and named it the Dave Gray Invitational. It was so special for my daughter to be running in her granddad's race, but it was even more incredible that they chose to honor him while he is still living. I love that - that is the way it is suppose to be - give back to those that have constantly given all of themselves!
My town, Carmi, has been touched by a wonderful person diagnosed with breast cancer that has metastasized to her brain. Tara Glover has been told she has 6-12 months to live...a few months ago. The town is going to the greatest extents to make sure she is celebrated long before the Lord calls her home. It is beautiful and incredible and yet in a way painful all at the same time.
There have been special volleyball, basketball, softball games all in her honor.
One person organized people writing a word on their forehead symbolizing something that meant special to them about Tara. Pictures of each person were taken and on a certain night and then all our profile pictures were changed and tagged her with them. Her computer nearly blew up! My word was BREATH. Tara is a very new friend to me, one that I have discovered listens to every BREATH the Holy Spirit whispers to her soul. I wish I could live like that - Tara even responds!
Tara gathered up 12 or so of her closest friends and went on a bucket list kind of vacation.
Another person organized people from all over the world writing Tara letters....there have been days she has received 50 letters in her mailbox.
The list of things to celebrate Tara's life goes on and on. Again, it is beautiful and hurts all at the same time.
When I hold on to bitterness, anger, hurt, jealousy, shame, or live in a way that always protects me - I miss out. I miss out on celebrating others' lives which in turn fills me up. Living in a mode of protection, holding back, jealousy, or guarded hurts only one person - leaves only 1 person filling empty. Well, I take that back. It does leave you feeling empty, but also the others that we should be celebrating are left wondering 'did I matter'? and that hurts.
Today is going to be different. Today I am going to live different. TodayI am going to love different. Today I am going to celebrate different. I am not going to just live like I am dying, I am going to love like I am dying too! I hope you will too!!
Celebrate now! Honor now! Love now! Live now!
God speaks thru all of us in many different ways. Here are just brief moments God speaks thru Leigh in every day life and adventures.