Life goes on

February 20, 2011

Last week was one of those weeks when spotlights illuminated the peaks and valleys of life.

The joy and pleasure of the multitude of love in my life was more than I can express.

And then, sadness. Not only did we lose our beloved dog, but I learned that a longtime friend had two tragic losses, and a newer friend also passed on after a valiant battle, leaving behind a loving wife and young son.

We all know people who whine and complain at the least little thing. Or who chafe and what they must do to get to the other side of a challenge of any kind. I’ve known people like that all my life.

But if we’re lucky, we also know people who are inspirational in the way they handle horrible burdens sent their way or who find ways to rise above the worst heartbreaks. Knowing men and womenwho are uplifting even in their grief both challenges me to be a better person even as it makes me impatient with those who push back at smaller burdens. Way smaller.

An online friend, JZ, lost his brave battle with cancer Friday. He fought hard. His brutal honesty about his fears was difficult to read, but I grew to respect him for that willingness to confront himself publicly. And also for his sense of humor, which was clear in a brief email exchange we had after a humorous case of mistaken identity. Jay, you had a lot you could have been arrogant about–well-educated, well-employed, a lovely family– but across the board your friends agree that your kindness was legendary. I will keep your smiling face and good heart top of my mind from now on as I live my life.

And to the sweet friend who I would have been honored to have as a daughter: I am sorry beyond words. And puzzled, really, at what possible greater meaning this could have. Sending so much love.

To the friend of my soul, my BFF and all my wonderful friends new and old who reached out this weekend: I know you get it. I am so happy you are in my life.

And to the love of my life, Michael: my life would be empty without you and my head nestled on your shoulder is where I belong. I am lucky, indeed.

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