I am in the midst of reading a wonderful book called "The Color of Rain" by Micheal & Gina Spehn, which tells the story of how each lost their spouse and found hope and healing in each other. I am excited to read something that seems to parallel a lot of my own story, but it's also really neat to read because both of them are from the same town I live in, so it makes it even more personal and close to my heart. I even ran into Gina at Panera a few weeks ago in a weird twist of God's timing through a mutual friend. Very cool.
There is a quote from the book that I read yesterday about 5 times. Then, I underlined it. And re-read it. And made notes in the margins. Then I thought about it all day. Finally, I had to write it down. Gina was talking about the final days of her husband's terminal illness and the love that was developed through it:
"It was not physical or material. This love lacked inhibition and boundary. It was limitless and free of expectation or regret. It was effortless, all-encompassing love; given, received, and understood. I think it's rare in life to experience this kind of love. In any relationship it ebbs and flows, but once you've had it, you crave it like no lustful urge you've ever had. I was filled with it on my wedding day, and when I held my babies in my arms, and again when my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. If only we had the ability to live life as thought it were so new or so close to the end that all we could do is give and show and become love. It seems that beginnings and endings teach us about this kind of love. It is in between that we tend to forget."
Okay, now go back and read it once more. Let it soak into your pours. Breathe it in deeply. Make it truth. Anyone who has had an experience like this knows the power in these words. It is what I have been trying to formulate words for and translate from my heart that I've been unable to do in the same way. But it could not be truer. When you lose something so precious, you crave to fill the space. You crave to feel something genuine, something authentic. Everything seems arbitrary up against something so important that you become frustrated with other people's pettiness. You lap up the moments that matter.
I am about to face another beginning - the beginning of my life with Steve. Facing this new adventure in my life brings me closer to that nostalgia of remembering what life is all about: love. So I'm more sentimental, I try to be more careful with my last words to people, I steal extra moments with people I love. And grief tends to keep you running along with the same theme and keeps it closer to you for longer. But that doesn't mean I don't fall into the 'in between' category every now and again. I catch myself doing it now and at the end of the day, I can recognize it in a way I couldn't before. And I start over every day. It's a pledge I made to myself and to Jeremy that this was the way that I would love from now on. My life is forever changed, so there's no way I can act like it isn't.
I needed to share this thought with the world today: Love fiercely.
Don't get stuck in the in between.