Three years ago sometime around now or next week is shrouded in darkness in my mind, but the memories are still there.
Painfully there, though the pain is muted and only shows itself in a quick catch of my heart on occasion.
It's been worse.
Three years ago one of my dearest friends abruptly lost her grandfather - stroke, coma, no more life support, crying, funeral. I shared a lot of pudding in April and ate every lunch with her in Hoffa's.
Three years ago I went to the Sunday matinee showing of HSM at my school. The life dropped out of the cast during intermission. A girl I should have graduated died at the hospital from something that could have been prevented. Should have been prevented in the eyes of every senior. Every family member. God said differently. Purposefully.
Three years ago my Thanksgivings and Christmases changed. Mom wouldn't let me skip school for the funeral. I regret not fighting that to this day, though I cannot stand funerals. She was my last great. She was incredible.
Three years ago I lost my best friend. Three years ago I realized my mom was right. "You'll regret not going to see her. You'll regret not writing more letters. You'll regret not calling." Part of me wants to believe those things could've made a difference..could have given her strength to make it to May, but I know my strength isn't even my own. Three years ago my reason to Relay became much more personal. Three years ago I faced decisions without my confidant. I wonder how these three years would be different. Three years ago I stopped gardening, stopped breathing that relaxation. I didn't go to that funeral either, but I couldn't. Shes buried somewhere between here and home.
Three years ago..darkness. It's not pitch black in my mind, but it's dark. This time of April always makes me evaluate time since this same week in April - how has my life changed? The changes are drastic..incomprehensible. God is so good.
I still cry during the luminaria ceremony at Relay, but gosh..I am so thankful for the 18 years I spent with my best friend. I can't always remember what her voice sounded like or exactly what she looked like. I'm not sure I remember her hands the way I wish I did, but I remember some things. I remember the bookshelf, the flowers, the trees, the swing, the monkey grass and elephant ears, the mounds of cookies, the quilt..oh the quilt. I remember eating dinner with her - pb&j. Always. I remember spending the night for fun. I remember reading. I remember so much that I will never forget. I remember learning what it meant to be loyal, honest, and true. Faithful. Unconditional love. The first true picture of JESUS in my life. I remember.
I'm sorry for all the nostalgia, but it hit me today that it's legitimately been three years since I went through what is still "hell week" in my mind.
Three years later, hell week consists of presentations, research papers, essays, shopping, CFA dinner dates, Cups & Mugs, cuddling, laughing, Worship night, visits from Mom, church, and meeting new people. Three years later, I'm still breathing. I still have freckles and I still love to be barefoot. Three years later, God is more alive in me than ever.
Three years later, that darkness cannot stay dark because my God illuminates even the darkest weeks of my past.
He is still God and He is still good..oh so good.