Love changes everything. I’ve been thinking about those words a lot lately. My first post of 2014 had that title, and I was planning to write my first post of 2015.
My pastor is preaching a series on Faith in Disney, about finding God in movies. This morning her topic was Beauty and the Beast. “Love changes everything,” she said in her message. Wow, I thought. Her statement echoed the thought that has been chasing around in my brain for days.
Last January I wrote about looking ahead to a year that I knew would hold some difficult losses. Three and a half months later I lost my mother, one of the anchors of my life. I still miss her terribly. In December of 2013 she demonstrated her Charleston moves at the Senior Christmas party; someone snapped a picture as she showed off a high kick to her friends. By the end of January she sat in her recliner most of the time, dozing on and off, tethered to the oxygen tank that eased her breathing. She rallied enough to tell stories to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who came to visit, knowing it was the last time she would see many of them.
On April 17 she met Jesus face to face, and joined all the family members who went before her – especially my dad whom she had lost almost ten years before. She never stopped missing him.
I expected Mom’s death, and the grief that would follow it.
I did not expect the joy that found me last summer. For a year and a half I had been seeing Keith. We enjoyed spending time together, and we developed a strong friendship. I lost Rick thirteen years ago, and Keith lost his wife four years ago. We did not anticipate falling in love, but that’s what happened. Next month we will be married, and I will be moving into a new home. We will start our life together in a new neighborhood, in a new town. We are searching for a new church family. But one thing will not change. We bring to our marriage wonderful memories of our spouses, memories that time will not diminish.
Because my life is changing, I am taking time off from writing this blog. My website will remain online and I pray it will continue to speak to those who are grieving. I’m grateful to all of you have been faithful readers.
Last January I started to write about hope and ended up writing about love. This year I started writing about love and I’m ending up writing about a new year full of hope. Last year I said, Once you feel love, you open yourself up to the possibility of loss. That is still true, but this year I can also say, We experienced deep loss, but we opened ourselves up to the possibility of love.
Keith and I are grateful to have found love again. We are grateful to have found each other.
First image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net