Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Love in a Fish Bowl

I know many people who go through crisis feel that their friends and family abandon them. They feel a since of isolation from community. It makes them bitter and often times their hearts are harden because of all the pain.

I however am not one of those people. Since the beginning of my life I have always had great friends. I often tell people about my friend Chris who was my best friend growing up. He was my friend no matter what. We knew each other as babies. People often thought we were cousins. We might have been closer than cousins. He was there the day I we laid our sweet Regan in the ground. We reflected that day on how life has gone very differently than we thought it might. I tell my kids about my friend Jodi who was the best friend a high school girl could have. She taught me about loyalty, deep devotion and honesty in friendship. I wasn't always that way to her but she always was to me. Even now I use her example to remind me of what a good friend is. Once she literally fraught another girl for me...I think she knew I would get my butt kicked. (We weren't Christians then but now we both are...I wish we lived closer so we could be closer and go to battle for each other in better ways!) When I was in college my friends Ginny and Michelle loved me when I know I was hard to love. I was trying to figure out how to love Jesus with my life. How to devote myself to Him, how to deal with the pain and hurt in my life. I would have been very alone if they had not been willing to stick in the fight with me. All these friends I praise God for all the time. Friends for my journey.
I thank God that he saw what I needed and that He was working in my life all along....teaching me things about friendship and community. What a life of inter-dependence really is.

I have always loved my friends. I have needed them to help me learn and grow. They have encouraged me so many times and regarding so many things I can't begin to express them all. I can't say enough...however my friend Hillary and her Texas crew of letter writers have blessed me beyond words. This picture of Hillary and I along with her Riley and my Rylee that was taken this summer when her family came to visit us. Such a wonderful time of much laughing and crying....conversation and even napping!

Anyway back to these letters. Hillary banded some women together from Dallas (who I befriended when we lived there) to write me a couple times a month. I usually get at least one each day. I keep all these letters in this fish bowl. The fish bowl sets right above my computer. I can easily take this bowl all over my house (which I do). My kids want to know what they say. These are not fancy cards. Most of them come on regular loose leaf paper or simple note cards. They share with me their lives. Hillary felt like it would bless me to know about what was going on with them since they know what is going on with me because of the blog.

I look forward to going to the mail box. This was especially good in the begining because some of our mail made me very said. We ogot hundreds of cards of condolences after Regan died. What a blessing to get them. I have those in Regan's room in a lovely brown box my friend Pat gave me. These cards mean a lot to me to but these letters are different. They serve a differnt purpose. They remind me that people still remember her. They remind me that people still cry and hold their own kids longer because of her. They remind me that friends don't need to talk every day or see each other every year to still be friends. We don't even need Facebook! These letters have reminded me the power of someones handwriting. These letters remind me that God's love is big. His love binds us together. It refreshes me because they say important things like "When I was praying for you this verse came to mind." or "I saw this flower the other day and thought of Regan." or sometimes even "I heard a song...." They usually update me on their familes. I know all these women and love them and their children. I love to hear what God is doing in their lives and about difficulties I can pray for in their lives as well. Sometimes all this with Regan makes me want to say...."Let's talk about you!" They do and I like it.

My girl friends here in Lincoln are the best....they bring me flowers on the 16th....they cry with me and sometimes even when I am not crying they cry....their children knew Regan well.....they lived life with us close up. They know her smell. They like to play with her hair barretts. They miss her with me. Their words keep me going. in a differnt way. I would could be easily bitter if they weren't here.

Regan's journey as been a lot like living in a fish bowl. People starred at her all the time. Usually because she was beautiful but some people are just rude. People watched to see what we would do...listen to how we lived with her....watched how we would respond to situations. Now that she is gone....the fish bowl is empty of the powerful life that was teaming in it. We are now a "normal" family. We go places and no one stares........So now I have this little fish bowl filled with WORDs from God's people telling me to press in, give myself time, telling me to cry, telling my they love me, reminding me that they remember, reminding me to trust God and to believe His Words.


Dave, Kristen and Katelyn McCurdy said...

Thank you so much for sharing! What a blessing that fish bowl must be! Now every time I see a fish bowl, I will think of you and say a prayer (I saw one today at my doctor's office!).


shannon said...

Love you

randsmadden said...

Stopped in today to say hi. Call me next time you are in Clinton. Love ya.