We’re just moments…

14 Mar

Three weeks ago, one of my closest friends (L) lost her grandmother. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for quite some time. I only had the pleasure of knowing her after the disease had taken over, but of the few times I was in her presence I could tell she was such a sweet person with a smile that could light up a room. It’s so strange what a disease like Alzheimer’s does. For all that the disease took from her memory and her body, it left something as simple as her longtime passion for dance.

I’ve never had anyone close to me pass away. When it happened I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. My friend is the sweetest person, after attending her grandmother’s memorial service I know where she got her kind heart, and I knew she needed my support. I immediately knew I had to find a way to show it to her. So I did what I do best, plan and organize. I got three of our friends who are in school here (the rest are too far to come to home on short notice) to attend the memorial service.

The service was nice and the tone of it was very much like my friend’s family, loving and heartfelt but not too serious. I cried a lot. I found myself trying to think of puppies and candy to make the tears stop, but it didn’t work. The hardest part was when my friend went up to the altar to sign a song while her sister sang. She looked out, saw us sitting there, and began to cry. In that my tears were no longer for Grandma Betty, they were for L and the bond we have and the trials we’ve gone through together recently.

After the service she came up to us and collapsed in my arms. I’ve never felt like I was in the right place, doing the right thing, more than at that moment. She told us that she had been fine, and then it hit her. I’m glad that I was there to hold her up.

I have a friend who told me recently that the length of life scares her. To be honest, I agree that growing up is scary. Grandma Betty’s death is a prime example of that fact. It’s amazing that there was a person, and then there just wasn’t. Memories remain in the form of beautiful words written in journals read by her children to a church full of loved ones. Her spirit lives on, but life moves on. We live, learn, loose. Here today, gone tomorrow. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I should take the time to enjoy it all.

Never Know – Jack Johnson

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