In high school, I decorated everything with encouraging quotes. And I mean everything. I’ve always liked words and drawing, so I’d illustrate famous, uplifting quotes and place them everywhere – in book covers, binders, pocket folders, my locker, etc. Kids who sat next to me started commenting on this hobby. As I look back, I’m not totally sure the reason that I went to this extreme. I imagine the words and visuals gave me something inspiring to hang onto as I was going through my teen years.
I forgot I placed quotes everywhere – until now. It’s at this season in my life that I hang onto reflective and inspiring quotes. I think that they give me words when I have no words of my own. Here are two quotes that I like:
“If you mention my child’s name, I may cry. But if you don’t mention it, you will break my heart.” – author unknown
“A friend loves at all times….” Proverbs 17:17
I especially appreciate quotes about the difference a community of faithful friends makes during hardship. If it weren’t for the power of my friends and the power of community, I wouldn’t be standing after losing Leah. It’s the support and love of others that have kept me in the calm center of a swirling storm.
A wide variety of people have reached out to me in beautiful ways. Two of the most beautiful ways to support me are either to talk about Leah with me or honor her memory in some way.
I’ve had people say to me that they are not sure they should mention Leah. They are concerned that it will make me sad or reawaken a memory. The hard reality is that in losing my child, I NEVER forget. By approaching the subject, people are not reminding me of anything that I don’t think about each and every day. Many times each day. Whether I go to work, go out shopping, watch a movie, read, etc. Whatever I am doing, my loss is part of my daily life.
Because of this fact, it touches me in a special way when the people around me acknowledge Leah’s life.
One dear friend gave me this priceless gift. Leah and I loved walking on beaches and searching out colorful and shapely rocks. When Leah was in hospice, my friend asked what she could do for me. She’s a beautiful artist, so I asked her to draw me this scene. The result went way beyond my expectations. Isn’t it wonderful?
When Leah was ill and passed away, we received dozens and dozens of cards and notes. I keep them in a special box. Just knowing the encouraging words are there is comforting. Although 8 months have passed, receiving notes from Leah’s friends or others in the community are still extremely meaningful.
Acts of kindness and remembrance give me the courage to keep going on. God uses so many of you who read this blog to touch me deeply. Your words and acts of service give me hope that the world isn’t as dark as it may appear.
I’ll end today with this quote:
“Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” Cicero