Inside you, there is strength. It’s holding you vertical. You didn’t seek after it, you didn’t buy it or read a book to learn how to get it. But look at you! You’re standing there in front of hundreds of people, wearing your lovely purple in honor of the light that transferred from here to there. I look at you, and I’m filled with admiration. You’ve always been so gracious, always had a smile to extend to anyone whose eyes met yours. We complain “Oh, there’s not enough money” or “why can’t I be happier” and you pray for us, you comfort us with gracious words, all the while knowing what was coming. Dealing with the medical stress, the physical lifelines that kept that precious little light anchored, for a time, to the sod we all walk. Knowing.
I remember when you joined us one night for coffee, our little group of friends, because you just needed to sit down and regroup. There was some sort of struggle between you, a difference of opinion, and you were concerned. So you just came and sat. It’s the closest I’ve ever seen you to not being cheerful! Yet you still were kind and asked “how are you?” when, really, I didn’t even care how I was. But that’s just how you are. Gracious, and strong.
I will never know the depth of the pain you have been through, friend. I once had a child in the hospital with an unknown, for awhile, ailment, and the doctor warned us that we might lose him (thank God we didn’t.) That was the absolute worst thing that has ever happened in my life, and I only had to live with it for a few weeks. This has been part of your life for over two decades.
And now she’s gone. And instead of being in a puddle on the floor, instead of shaking your fist at God, instead of begging everyone for attention and pity, for which none of us would blame you, you stand there, vertical, sharing your strength; His strength. You share your heart with us. You thank us. You smile at us through your tears. You are gracious. You are strong. I admire you, friend. Thank you for being an example to me.
“The Lord God is my strength: and He will make my feet like the feet of harts: and He the conqueror will lead me upon my high places singing psalms.” Habakkuk 3:19 (Douay-Rheims Translation)