Sunday, March 9, 2014

reflections

it's been a long winter...not just here in virginia beach, but across the country.  this winter was TERRIBLE.  never ending.  or so it seemed.  unpredictable.  last sunday i walked on the beach barefoot, drove with the convertible top down...by that evening all schools were cancelled and by morning the next couple days we were home because of snow and ice.

today is daylight savings time.  an extra hour.  and the sun was shining.  i used the first bonus hour of the year to take maya for a walk.  she may not move til morning.  i normally listen to music.  not tonight.  i used that quiet.  to think.  to process.  to reflect.

my life has felt a lot like this long winter...periods of cold, dark, grey...some things are just too personal to share.  but i can and will say that spring is here.  it's been a long journey, full of unexpected realizations:  i am stronger than i ever dreamed.  i am not defined by what others see in me (or what they don't see in me).  i am creative.  i am hopeful.  i am happy.  i am moving forward.  step by step.  day by day.  month by month.  and i feel good (cue the james brown music).

today not only marks daylight savings time but it also marks a decade since a very dear friend was in what ended up being a fatal car accident.  she was on her way to my house...for a surprise baby shower she had planned for the birth of my youngest...and she didn't make it there.  the memory of that will never fade.

but what will ALSO never fade are the other memories.  as i have reflected today, i think if i had to use one word to describe debbie it would be GRACE.  this woman taught me about grace and it DEFIED every perception i had of family, of friends, of God.  her friendship, and the grace she encouraged me to extend to myself...changed my life.  forever.

i'll never forget the night that i let my vulnerability show.  it was the beginning of a BEAUTIFUL story.  i was struggling...little did she realize just how much...and she suggested i take a walk every night.  the suggestion brought me to immediate tears.  what she didn't realize was that i was paralyzed by fear.  afraid to even go for a walk around the block.  her suggestion...and the trust that i felt with her...exposed the whole thing.   and my secret was out.  she started coming over, spending time with me.  talking.  listening.  encouraging.  extending grace.  she asked if we could use my home as a meeting place for a small group of women...because it was the 'perfect location.'  (really it was just that she knew it was the only way to ensure i'd faithfully attend).  and this small group of women met every other tuesday...for YEARS.  we spent 9/11 together.  and we spent the morning of her car accident together...waiting for her to arrive...and she never did.

if you know me AT ALL...even the teensiest bit...then you realize how much of a contrast there is between that scared young mom and the adventurous old mom that i am now (lol).   that paralyzed woman traveled to africa...TWICE...within two years of that confession.  she had two more children (call me crazy, i know...i know).  she moved across the country...twice (rolling eyes).  survived truck fires and hurricanes...and her story isn't over.

debbie was 47 when she passed away.  i am 47 today.  she lived life to it's fullest.  EVERY single day.  i didn't then.  but i learned to. and i continue to.  

tonight's walk had me thinking...about how much has changed in those ten years.  everything.  EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.  family has changed.  friends have changed.  i have changed.  but God...and his GRACE...they never change.

and for that i am thankful. 

moving forward with hope and grace...and peace.




2 comments:

Beth G said...

"and her story isn't over..." I'm so grateful you are back writing about your story. Looking for the grace moments that are sure to show up!!!

Jasi said...

love the last sentence. You're an amazing woman Gwendolynaaaa! <3 you!