Quite a while back I took a group of teens to see the AIDS quilt project when it was here in the Elmira area. One block in particular from that massive quilt captivated my heart. It was a procession of penguins passing beneath a rainbow. Once the pudgy little black and white penguins went through the arch of the rainbow, they were transformed. No longer plain ole' black and white, they took on the colors of the rainbow. Blue and white, orange and white, purple and white penguins waddled under a banner that said "Just passin' through." That's what Sue's life has done for so many of you during the time she was "passing through." She transformed your lives giving them color and beauty and joy.Yesterday Deb's Mom, Marti died from ovarian cancer. And I'm certain that the same could be said of Marti, that she transformed the lives of all she touched, giving them color and beauty and joy, during the time that she was passing through.
I know first-hand some of the feelings Deb is experiencing today. Relief that it is over, that her mother is no longer suffering. Gratitude that Marti made it to her 70th birthday, which was celebrated with extended family and friends. Sorrow and grief at the loss of someone who was such an integral part of your life. Numbness as you go through the motions of final arrangements, attending a service, saying good-bye, and ultimately comforting those who are trying to comfort you. Joy as you remember the good times and celebrate the life that was, that will carry on in your heart forever.
It is a lot to feel all at once, a dizzying heady mix of emotion that ultimately leaves you wrung out and exhausted. I'm almost shocked at how easy it is to recall exactly how I felt back then, 14 years ago, how quickly all of that can rise back to the surface. Today I'm wishing for Deb grace and strength and laughter and joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran