I sit here and dream about the now, and then. I think about your eyes, and what you’ll do to make me smile on a big business day. How you’ll stand next to me when I step off that stage. How they’ll probably know you too. How you’ll laugh at the insane, and cry at the heart breaking. How you’ll take my hand, and we’ll turn and walk. And after those set of steps, we’ll do it all together. Because you’ll know my eyes say nothing more important than: “Just walk with me.” That’ll be perfect. I love you.
You’re the queen of “remember when?”s in my life. You were there for all of it. Through the dumb things. The hard things. The things were I just needed someone to laugh with. When I just needed a hug. When I needed an Alto 2. When I needed a ride. You were there. You still are. That, we smiled about, rarely happens in this beautiful life. You know me, for you’ve been here.
…she was our babysitter, and we had to move because the cancer took her?
…our moms put us in those frilly dresses and ruffly socks?
…we had those teeth that were not straight, but our smiles always melted our daddies?
…we realized that we both attended the same family reunions?
…the swimming pool was the greatest hang out?
…the cancer moved its way into my life?
…the cancer was gone?
…you learned how to tickle my backwards foot?
…always being late for choir?
…the dumb choices in boys you made? And how I told you so, but loved you anyway?
…everyone thought we were twins while you were a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz?
…Jake Donze made our lives?
…we practiced and practiced and practiced for that duet?
…Mountain Dew and m&ms and a pile of physics we never really understood?
…being my best friend when mine left me?
…laughing at me while things made no sense?
….that night in the dorm room, before it all changed?
…driving in those cars, way faster than we should have?
…burning papers post high school?
…crying while the last bell rang?
…getting in the car at 4am?
…laughing in an Applebees parking lot?
…being giddy about those people with violins?
…accepting each other no matter how we were?
…getting random phone calls from random numbers and then coming over to spend 3 hours?
…meeting me in the hospital room because of her cancer?
…walking up my driveway with a ring on your finger and asking me to be in your wedding?
Some things change. Others never do. There’s nothing I would rather have done but sit there for hours and giggle with you.
…because love wins.
Listen for you.
Listen for me.
Feel for you.
Feel for me.
There is a rhythm I’m coming to know in the silence of my soul. There is a place we return to time and time again. There, as our hearts beat, we find, together, we always stand. We’re so far beyond us.
They’ll never understand this.
I don’t need them to.
This? This was Heaven’s kiss.
Your eyes tell me more.
Not a cry. Not a whine.
The Kingdom goes to the spirit of poor.
It’ll never be about what you say.
Words are but a piece of the soul.
He takes our speech; He, the Way.
I already know.
You believe. You do.
That heart? And this? They grow.
There is much beyond.
Nail pierced He is.
For me, and you, those wounds.
You feel my heart beat.
I’ll walk the same in that.
Seems we waited years to meet.
So, go, dear soul.
Live. Live. Live. Live. Listen. Live.
I hold a hand. Clutch prayer more than gold.
You, me, Him, we.
So many pieces, yet all complete.
What you see in Him, is in you. Believe me.
Oh, how far this is all beyond us. How there is nothing we can grasp but the faith in which we find each beat of our lives. Be encouraged, for you are so far from alone, that even the angels smirk at the thought. You are Israel. Lay down your shield. He’s already built one chosen for your pulse. Together, we walk. Eyes forward. Hearts reminded. Hearts remembering. You’ve been here, for some time much longer than I know. Forever, I’d say. Just as long as life goes.
…because loves wins.
Your letters sit with the pink bow on top of them, a few feet to my right. The room is finally clean. The laundry’s being done. Heading out the door on a Friday afternoon to sell chainsaws alongside my 57 year old best friend; father. You, and your facebook inbox smiles. You, and your email folders. Phone date tonight? Yes, please. New tires for the car, oh, we’d do that for you. Lunch warmed. Lunch eaten. Sun sets. Sun rises. Hugs in parking lots. Hospital rooms. Roofs. Fields. Airports. Garvin. State after state after state, after city, after seminary, after home, after college. There’s something to the core of that. There’s something that makes that 30 second hug hurt when it lets go. Even in the dark, we can still see the light.
There’s something there that we pound our fists to fight for.
Love, will keep us together. It’s gonna be alright. This is the first day of the rest of your life.
Be who you are. Let me see it. I’ll let you know me. The whole world will know that we’re not alone.
…because love wins.
My leg. Your hand. Your neck. Your arm. Your hip. Your brain. Your blood. Your marrow. Your toe. Your jaw. Your muscle. Your finger. Your lungs.
This cancer is something ravaging. Never stopping, and pointed beyond the body, to the soul. It eats away piece by piece. In moments, some would say it’s been conquered. In others, some would say it’s been a losing battle. When I look into your eyes and feel the weight of the surgical waiting room, I think not on what it’s been. Not a fight we are fighting, but a mountain we are climbing. Upon this earth we won’t ever be able to reach the top, for there will always be the moment when the papers come in the mail, and there’s more to be checked for, where we’ll need a hand to hold as we meet a waiting room again. Did I win against cancer? No, I’m not sure I did. Did I lose? Well, not one of us ever could. Did it become a part of our lives, never to be removed? Did it become something that unites a group of people that we’ve never met but know everything about? Yes, it did.
Could we ever walk away? No, never, for it has become the reality we know. Something, to live for.
With your hands and feet and legs and muscles and brains and blood and marrow, we became a part of the same club. We walk, hop, wheel, and limp, united. Strong. Never alone.
And there is nothing that I would trade for the ability to walk in and know, I’m welcome here. Here, I’m understood.
The Little Rascals have nothing on this.
…because love wins.
A butterfly passes drifting outside my parent’s small home. The leaves rustle as a green notebook dotted in Words in which I find my future; my now. Every once and a while I sit down and play a certain song. It brings me back. It takes me forward. And it lets me see how far we’ve come. What love we’ve seen. What love we know.
You have a son, and a husband. And a home. And are proud to be a child of God.
You’re overseas. Touring. Learning. Becoming. I hope for you.
You’re fishing alone, and watching sunsets. You know you’re not normal.
You’ve moved south. Learned to listen. Went where called.
You’re letting God in. Over and over and over again.
You’re going back to the cancer. You’re getting up, and even smiling. Day after day.
You’re in my life. You know where you’re going. You know we’ll be fine.
You’re growing in confidence. Standing in healing. Knowing redemption. Slowly, but are.
You’re home with me. You’re leading me. You’re helping me. No more anxious. Always my best friend.
You hand me a Bible. You drive hours. You always have a hug. You run your business for Jesus.
You? You’re still recording, this time for me. You’re being everything your Jesus wants. And, you’ve become a part of this family.
You’re right, it really is the best group of best friends in all of the world. Built beyond us. Built Divinely.
“…Under the tree, You call us to be.”
Oh, Father, it’s how this has all come to be. The beauty is astounding.
…because love wins.