Walking to the car today, the contact of snowflakes landing on my cheek, I found myself lost in the events of the weeks past. Of the year past. The thoughts of the highs and lows flooded my mind; the flashbacks of a year soon to be over and the eagerness to start anew.
Recently in my thoughts were that of leaving the hospital knowing that the final words I could say to someone were to be permanently placed in the world of the living. I had been at the hospital for the past few weeks on a rollercoaster of progress and delay. Sitting at the bedside of an astounding woman who had been in my life for over 13 years; a woman, who with just her smile could turn the darkest of days into a rainbow of light. As I sat there, I was holding the hand of her granddaughter, one of my best friends, praying for her to open her eyes and return to all of us. Sadly, she would not. And last Wednesday as I walked out of the automatic doors, felt the sting of winter air in the early hours, I knew she was soon to leave us. Sure with Christmas coming, and working 60 plus hours that week, I was exhausted, drained – physically and emotionally. However, I did not hesitate as I raced to say goodbye. My place was there. I would not have traded those moments of being where I was needed most; despite the heartache, the wishing to make the pain of those I loved disappear, of feeling helpless … I knew her hand in mine was all it took to say I am here, and will forever be. In presence, in spirit, and in love.
Walking the corridors of those hospital walls my mind could not help but question “how many people have walked this same path?” … some come in filled with joy – the birth of a new member to their family, the delivery of the news that their disease has gone into remission, the discovery of a miracle that will save the life of that in which they love. Others come in and leave with uncontrolled grief – the loss of their beloved one, or the devastating news they will soon lose them, and in some cases them themselves faced with grave diagnosis.
When you think of the footprints that walked before you, when you think of their joy and pain, you place yourself in a whirlwind of wonder …. Of thought … of clarity … Today, you have the ability to walk out and face a fresh, innovative day upon your face. What will you make of it? Will you spend it locked into your grief of what you have lost, or what will never be? Or do you race to your destination filled with determination to make the day count. To make your life matter. To make your imaginings come true before it’s too late and the dreams can be no more. To reach for a hand of that in which is needed. Or even further, allow your hand to be held when you need it most.
In 2009 I was more broken than in any of my days past. Sometimes I was so angry, I felt like such a failure. Others I was torn with grief, loss, despair. Wounds from the past and present were intertwining with each other and making an anguish of my perspective. Yet each day I still searched on my corridor path of life, knowing that my quest could be long, enduring, tough … but the fight to find the silver lining manifests and proves that with determination, hope, and faith all can be overcome. I am not one to go down without a fight, the word “quit” has no room in my vocabulary, and even as the tough days mount up I will sit and develop a “plan of attack”. As I do, I trust that I am never alone. But my Achilles heel is although I race to deliver a hand in need, I shutter to accept one when I am in great require. That is what this year has taught me – it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to show weakness. It’s okay to let people in. Not only in the great times, but especially in the hard times. Trusting now that God is forever at my side, along the journey, his hand in mine. No longer afraid to reach for those I trust and love; some new to my life, some there for over a decade, others returning from an absence and sliding right back into their place in my heart reserved for them.
You see, on your journey, you are never alone. Even when your tanks are on empty, hell even when your reserve tanks have been depleted … turn … look to your right … look to your left … ahead of you and behind … you are surrounded in this corridor. Amongst the midst, put down your wall of defense and allow yourself to walk hand in hand with those that will never leave your side. Not even for a moment. God places people in our lives as conduit of his never ceasing presence. And as much as you give to them, allow them to give to you.
Tonight I hope you can take a moment to be still and reflect. When you remember your journey this past year, your walk down that corridor of life, fuel your spirit with the joy you have been blessed with, the lessons learned, the time granted, and the people that have been with you on your passage. The moments before are now gone, but with them they will forever leave footprints of those who walked with you.
I used to think the past was dead and gone. But I was wrong. It lives in our today’s. In those yet to be. It gives us memories of strength, equipping us in our battles, of our cold wars, of our hospital corridors to give us proof that we have overcome and achieved our milestones, one hand in hand at a time. The great news is we are still able to overcome and achieve … to walk our walk of destiny, taking in the knowledge, the peace, of all that we have had … and all that is yet to be.