Merciful blackness, the backdrop for a million galaxies.
“Stars. You see them best on the darkest night.”
I turn over, sleep, to see in my dreams the strength of arms, and wills, and hearts… of friends that wouldn’t let go. That poured sweat, and poured out sobs with us on a cold night under open heavens.
There’s something familiar about this feeling.
We’ll dig another grave tomorrow.
For another one of our best friends.
We’ll say another round of goodbyes.
That’s three times by open graves, once by our open door, since June.
But as night turns into day, then turns to night again, one thing hits me harder even than the loss of another cherished treasure. It’s how I cherish the ones that are left.
Because life is a vapor.
I’ll always be glad I stopped mid-stride, retraced two steps to the kitchen trash and fished out my apple core after lunch. Just because I knew she’d like it.
It is the last thing she would ever eat.
But what of the rest?
While visions of a twisting, straining, struggling animal, and of brave friends fighting through hot tears for a chance at life pass before sleepless eyes, I wonder:
These treasures, I mean the ones I have left, do they know how much I love them?
Morning comes and it’s still black. I awaken slowly, pause to feel my heart beat its steady 45.
But I’m by no means the first. Someone else has been up, waiting for the morning to start.
He’s pretty polite. Doesn’t usually awaken me before my time. But neither does he wait long after my eyelids first flutter.
The cold nose finds its way to a tear-stained face, pushes a time or two, and retreats to take up racquetball, sock, or whatever else can pass for a toy at 4 am. And he stands there, and his beady eyes beam. He’s happy to see me. And every morning he tells me the same. He stands there, wags his tail until he can’t take it any more. Prances and dances, and makes a fuss, as if we’d been separated by months and miles, rather than short hours since last night.
Just because he loves…
But wouldn’t I wish I’d done the same, made a ruckus when I’d first seen my sister, brother, mother, father in the morning? Wouldn’t I wish I had, if one morning they were gone?
I have news for you. For me.
That could happen any morning.
Life is a vapor.
Fight for it. Cherish it.
And not just when it’s hanging by a thread…
Sleep, Diamond baby. Sleep.
November 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm
Right now I'm working in a third world country, and life here is so cheep. No one blinks an eye when an orphan is run over by a taxi or dies of starvation. Surrounded by so much suffering, it is hard to keep from becoming callused. Thank you for softening my heart today.
November 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm
I'm saying the same thing, Katelyn… It's the breaking hearts, the soft ones, that change the world. The ones that not just see, but also feel every pain. like He does…
November 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm
Life is fragile…painfully so. That has been very heavy on my heart this weekend.
But I keep coming back to Gratitude. (With a twinge of guilt, because the great pain of trial is not mine. My pain is but empathy…Still, gratitude in knowing HE will provide another way brings me comfort.)
May I have permission to share your recording of that song on my next post (if I can figure out how) ? I'll direct the traffic to the CD …. 🙂
November 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm
Ahh, but of course. Thank you for the reminder…
Yes, gratitude runs deep here too. We have much to be thankful for. Better to love and lose…
I'd be happy for you to post Gratitude on your blog… Blogger doesn't make it easy, but a little code goes a long way. 🙂 I'll email.
November 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm
November 18, 2012 at 11:52 pm
Thank you. Blogger does NOT make it easy. The code helped… and so did Vanessa. Thanks.
November 19, 2012 at 1:29 am
Oh, what a thought! I have to cherish those I care about so much more . . . and let them have no doubt about it. "Better to love and lose . . ."
November 19, 2012 at 3:16 am
This is so painfully beautiful…
all i can say is thank you for sharing. thank you.
and i am so sorry you lost Diamond…
November 19, 2012 at 4:24 am
You're welcome, Katie… Sometimes those lessons are best learned that are written on the heart by fire.
November 19, 2012 at 4:27 am
Thank you, Sara… We cherish what love is teaching through tears…