Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I've stared at this box for months. 
Today I will purge...organize...consolidate!
After managing to part with another bag of Rob's clothes and tackle a box of papers I'd brought home from his office, I'm ready to let go of some more of Rob. 
But, how do you place a lifetime in a couple of drawers?
My plan: With cup of cinnamon coffee and stash of Lorna Doones in hand, I will read each note written during his illness one more time, thank God for the sender and place only a few in the keep pile.
 Seriously, it's proving impossible to discard so much love!
Funny, how I read each card through a new lens. No more paralysis...no more blur. This time your words permeate and supply new and necessary strength.
This journey of grief may morph, but it still wears at my soul. 
The first prayer note I pick up is from dear Eddie Whittenberg. He recalls some fond memories of our friendship and ends with "Keep the faith!" I can hear his voice.
Janine Morrell recalls some words from our Bible study of Esther: "Christ is calling us all to something we will need courage to complete."
Personal words of affirmation... Rob, "You are a good man!" Allen Potter... Rob, "Your calm, confident, wise demeanor is always wrapped in warmth and welcome." Cyndi LeForce...Rob, "I've loved every moment of our friendship." Tom Trigger.
I could fill paragraph after paragraph with the kind words so many of you took the time to share. I'm reminded of a great man's legacy, but more importantly, of a greater, ever-present God. 
Somehow I've managed to whittle down this massive pile of love and corral it into a small, tidy box of powerful encouragement.
I'm sure I will need to visit it from time to time and one day my children will open it to find the rich love of the Church at its best.
There is power in a handwritten note!
Even a couple of personal thoughts bring encouragement on the darkest of days.
I will mostly treasure the memories you thoughtfully shared with us, the men who were not afraid to tell Rob that they loved him, and the written prayers covering the smallest details.
Seeking to learn from even this, I'm reminded that any lengthy wisdom, accounts of my past suffering and the normal chatter that fills most letters may be wasted on exhausted ears. Handmade preschool drawings heal better than articles outlining alternative therapies.
Yes, simple, life-giving notes keep on healing.
Keep them brief, personal, and real!
It's okay to address the elephant in the room when life looks short.
None of us understand the whys.
We are all sad.
We can't fix the mess. 
This may be the last time we have an earthly conversation.
Always err on the side of love!

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