The past 72 hours has been cruel to many. Personally it has been a difficult time.
Wednesday as I was on the streetcar coming home from work, I found out a dear friend passed away losing their 2 week battle with pancreatic cancer. Two weeks, I was still trying to grapple with the fact he was so ill, but to lose someone you cared about so so quickly it is a shock to the system and you go through so many emotions.
Then yesterday morning I was tossed back in time as I watched the news. There was a huge fire in Hamilton, Ontario that has left 24 homeless. It threw me back to our own fire in Hamilton, where 30 families became homeless in an instant. At least this time there was no loss of life. Still with that said there are families in Hamilton right now who have nothing. I remember well being rescued by firefighters in the middle of the night, nights spent in the hotel, trying to find clothes so I could return to work, I remember us being able to return to our apartment to find it smoke filled, windows broken and pieces of ash flying in. I also remember the outpouring of love from the community, and I remember the friends who helped clean, and rebuild and move.
Then there were the tragic events of Newtown, Connecticut. Every parent’s worse nightmere. Parents around the world hugged kids closer, and wondered how to talk to their children about what happened. My daughter and I talked about it at length. For me as a mom of a teen with a diagnosed mental health issue we talked about the importance of mental health, the importance of medications, the importance of talking through whatever is in her head, we talked about what happened, and then we needed to simply hang together. We simply needed to be. So we ordered pizza, wrapped Christmas gifts, smiled, laughed, and simply hung out.
Today will be hard. Today we will say farewell to my friend who died. He lead a good life, a fairly long life surrounded by family friends and so many who loved him. He was a Christian who lived Christ. A church community will gather today and celebrate his life: it was a good life, and so worthy of celebrating.
Today I am grappling with so many emotions as I know many are. We ask Why? I don’t have answers all I know I can do as I grapple with my high and lows, is to love, to share and to care. I simply think we need more of that for each other.
A verse from the bible stands out as I think about everything today:
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
Let us love one another. Let us show we care. Let us care. We have to take care of one another.