When the year started, we all spoke and made plans for the new year. 2019 was like a visitor that compelled us to get our act together. We were going to be on our best behavior. We were going to work harder and increase our financial strength. We were going to be done with the procrastination and get our houses in order. We were going to sign up to the gym or increase the intensity of our workouts. We were going to be better.

In light of all that, you can imagine the utter shock that I was thrown into when my friend Lyn called that Friday night. In a very prudent manner, she asked if I was home and If I was able to talk. She told me to get seated and boom, all the alarm bells went off. I could feel my heart race so fast as that blanket of horror began to cover me.
I can still remember shaking like a leaf as she proceeded to tell me that our mutual friend was gone. She had breathed her last the previous night and was no more. I can’t quite articulate my immediate reaction. The shock was too intense… I felt as if I had been ushered into another world. All of a sudden I felt as light as air and then as I put the phone down, I realized how every part of me was shaking. With tears flowing freely, my mind became a flash flood of memories about my departed friend.

You see, to say that this girl was special is an understatement, because she was beyond extraordinary. She was witty, hardworking and smart, all rolled up into a ball of gorgeousness. She was a flower planted in the garden of our lives. A budding flower plucked too soon.

I remember the first time we crossed paths. We were bound for Houston. She walked up to me in the briefing room, shook my hand and introduced herself. We hit it off. Immediately. We forged a warm friendship that would see us engage in girl gossip for hours. Boy did we share deep stuff! I knew that I had found a friend in her, one who would be there as we did this thing called life. And now she was gone?

What is life? Is this the way the cookie crumbles? These questions have continued to play in my mind. Why make all those new year plans just to have our lights snuffed out? Why spend long hours working hard if we are not guaranteed to reap the rewards? Why is the whistle blown on all the amazing people while the world remains full of evil ones?
I wish I had the answers. If someone out there has the answers, they are most welcome to share them. However, three weeks after we laid my friend to rest, a little bit of clarity has begun to trickle down.

 

Celebrate the now
Isn’t life some sort of a paradox? On one hand, it is this mighty, powerful force that we give our all to sustain. On the other, it is as fragile and flimsy like smoke from a single cigarette swirling in a hurricane. What does that mean for us?
We are to take it in. Everyday. We are to be grateful for this gift. Everyday. We are to make it the best possible version it can be. Everyday.

 

Goodbyes take time
We laid my friend to rest and left her as beautiful as she had been in this life. As we all walked away, we could still feel the weight of her demise. It takes time to come to terms with losing a loved one. It is the first thought that pops in my head in the morning and lingers throughout the day. And for most of us, thoughts of her will be at the forefront of our minds for a long while.

Goodbyes take time.

 

The secret things belong to God
Many are the things which we will never understand. We can crack our skulls trying to make sense of it but we never will. It is what it is.
The unpredictable nature of life demands that we keep rolling the dice of life. In as much as we do not know when the whistle will be blown on us, we must keep going. We must keep hope alive that we will enjoy the satisfaction of a long life. We were placed here on a mission and to hang our boots before accomplishing it is sinful.

So yes, we may have to sit and slow down for a while and think things through when tragedy hits. But eventually, we have to gather strength and get back into the ring of life.

Rest in peace my friend.