I’m really not going to write post after post about all the events of the last few weeks.
But there’s just a lot of treasure that was scattered there among the shipwreck that was supposed to be our holidays.
So much treasure.
And I feel compelled to bring it up from the murky depths of a sea of sadness and let it sparkle and shimmer as it should.
That picture above.
That’s my Jessica. My sister neighbor. My running partner.
My friend who, just a handful of days before Christmas, flew through an ice storm to come to a city she’d not ever visited to mourn a man she’d never met.
She met us at the chapel and I ran into her arms. And my kids ran into her arms.
As I spoke at my dad’s memorial, she sat quietly on a back row.
For a man she’d never met.
For my daddy.
How do you thank someone for helping carry your hurt when they don’t have to, when distance and ice storms and holidays are more than a legitimate reason to continue with regularly scheduled programming? And instead that someone drops everything and comes?
I don’t know how to thank her.
All I can do is surface with the precious treasure of her devotion, hold it to the light, and say, “This. This is friendship. This is bearing one another’s burdens.”
“This is love.”
Two of my friends from my Tulsa book club and church, JT and EC, came with their husbands, four friends I hadn’t seen in years.
Just to celebrate my dad.
And to cry with me.
My darling LC left her Christmas celebration with her grandbaby early, to hug my neck and celebrate my dad.
My aunt and cousins left at dawn to drive on frozen highways.
My dad’s best friend conquered flight delays and cancelled planes.
My precious Hanson clan showed up in mass and cried and laughed and hugged and mourned and loved.
My in-laws, couples who have known my parents through my in-laws, my mom’s Bible study group, my parent’s incredible neighbors, my brother’s in-laws, my brother Dave’s Friday morning Bible study guys, his amazing Band of Brothers of faith…on and on and on.
And the phone calls and texts and messages and flowers and donations from loved ones far and wide, all who made us feel so loved and thankful.
What a sparkling, golden abundance I hold in my soul’s hands, washed in tears and clutched to the heart.
Thank you all.