Writing anything at all has been the last thing on my mind today. At the very least I thought I would have to say that I have no words with which to write. The little words and thoughts that usually crowd my head are gone. They left with a WHOOSH that emptied my brain and hit me in the heart and the gut, leaving an empty ache. It’s impossible now to write about the ridiculous number of times I pressed SNOOZE on my alarm this morning or the sassy, but sweet comment one of the students made in class today. I can’t even remember the little something that I found funny enough this morning to consider for my writing. Because sometimes a seismic event happens in the middle of an ordinary day and shakes the small moments right off the map. This was that day.
The text came in the middle of the morning, in the middle of the busy hustle of book groups and sticky notes. A friend had died. A life was lost, and the impact of that unimaginable thought shook my world. I couldn’t move, couldn’t think–and then all I could do was think. I thought of the lives changed by this loss. Forever. Irrevocably. And all my words left me.
Hours later I realize that I do have words. All the big words are still there–love, kindness, laughter, prayer, friendship, family. The small words of normal life are just noise, but the big words shine through and refuse to be ignored. The people in our lives and our relationships with them are precious. There is nothing more important. Treasure them. Laugh together. Forgive each other. Choose kindness. Delight in love. Don’t wait–reach out. Don’t take any of this for granted because we aren’t promised even another minute together.
There are people with tears in their eyes today. Some of them are close to me, but there are more than we know who need the loving support of friends and family. Take care of them when you can and be grateful for everyone in your life. Even a small friendship or connection can mean the world to someone else.
While I was in a kindergarten room this morning, a small friend held my hand and said “Teacher…don’t cry.” while another gave me a sticky note with hearts to put on my shirt. They showed me where to find my words again.