|| Living && Breathing ||
This post is grieving and reflecting.
This post is a reminder that life is so fleeting and even more so fragile.
An APU student passed away today from Stomach Cancer. I didn't know her at all; just saw her around because APU is quite small. I can't pretend to grieve like someone who did know her but in doing some searching on her page and pages connected to her, I still find myself sitting at my computer just crying.
She was diagnosed at age 23 in early January of this year. Her name was Jenna, and in very shallow observation she was tall and gorgeous, with these eyes that automatically said she was someone you could give yourself to and you would be safe. I didn't know her heart or her personality or what made her laugh but the light that her friends remember her in, is nothing but radiant.
Death is always heavy, whether or not it closely affects you or not. It always hums a soft reminder that you cannot ignore it, run from it or pretend is does not shatter your heart sometimes.
As I sit here and think about my past week, I worried about math tests, memorizing poems, what I was going to wear for a poetry show, stalked peoples Facebook and Instagram, socialized at birthday parties and talked about my day to day chaos and little wonders.
As I sit here, I realize how fleeting so much of our lives truly are. My biggest question right now is what to do after I graduate and I have the breath and stirring of mind to be able to think about those things. But graduation will come and go and life will move on and that's just it. We miss it sometimes, we miss the preciousness purposely tucked in each new rising of the sun.
We so often forget that every morning we wake up is a gift. A beautifully wrapped package that allows us to see the sun, hear laughter, cry tears and experience life. Every day is a new opportunity to love others and be loved. We so very often mistake this gift of life for a right or a privilege.... WE. DON'T. DESERVE THIS. We don't deserve to wake up every day and experience the blessings specifically placed for us in that new day. That means while we have it, we do the best we can with it and hope that one-day when we face our creator it meant something, we shined as bright as we could, spoke truth and loved hard.
Life is moving fast, so rapidly that weeks feel more like days and months feel more like weeks. Years blur past us and we very rarely explore what really happened in the past twelve months we just lived. I am constantly being wrecked with the idea that each day I get the chance to breath again, is a gift in itself. But still, I take for granted those I get to be around, I take for granted loving and personal growth, holding hands and experiencing God in new and undeserving ways.
Perhaps this is cliché, reflecting over life because someone no longer is able to experience it. But what it is for me mostly is a reminder that this place is temporary, the jobs, the tests, the classes, the graduating, everything I consider of such “importance” right now is…meaningless when you look at the idea that this is not our home. This is not where we get to be the purest versions of ourselves, where we get to dance in blissful freedom with our creator. Yes, I believe in heaven and maybe that’s something like believing in unicorns and fairies but I believe there is a God in heaven and I strongly believe there comes a time when he calls his beloveds home to him and that is when we really live.
So it all makes you question, how do you go about living well? Here, on this earth while we are skin and bones and mistakes and clumsiness.
How do we not take for granted this gift that shouldn’t be ours to begin with? I don’t know what you’re stressing about right now, I don’t know what’s consuming your mind and I am not invalidating those moments at all. I know that we all have our own little mountains to climb over. But I challenge you right now, to just sit and be with yourself. Sit quietly, breathe deeply, let your inhales take slower than most times and your exhales be the same.
Jennas mother has a blog: http://thruamomseyes.blogspot.com/
It is beautiful, rich and heart breaking. I encourage you to read it and be in prayer for her and the rest of their family as they grieve the lost of a daughter, a sister, a friend and all of who she was to people.
We are fortunate my friends, with all the hurt and chaos, suffering and viciousness that we are surrounded by…there is still living and breathing and those are wonders in themselves.
Tomorrow, if your eyes open imagine that you’re unwrapping a gift. It’s not Christmas, just a brand new day.
A day where the Lord says here my child, now what are you going to do with it?