This week, I've been able to share in absolute joy and happiness with one of my best friends, and complete loss and sadness with another. It's amazing how birth and death can evoke such different, yet equally powerful emotions.
On Saturday, my eyes filled with tears when I learned that my best friend Tiffany gave birth to her second child, a BEAUTIFUL baby girl. They named her Gianna Faith and she is absolutely precious. Here she is in her little going home outfit.
Tiff went into labor quickly and she wasn't sure if her Mom would make it out to North Dakota in time to be with her. But God was watching over them and Tiff's mom made it out just in time :-) Tiff had a healthy, safe delivery and now her little family of 4 is settling into their new routine. Words can't express how happy I am for Tiff, Jake and big sis Sophie. I love you guys so much and can't wait to meet that beautiful little peanut.
I wish the tears I shared with another one of my best friends this week was just as joyful. But sadly...the circle of life doesn't work that way. Yesterday morning, my friend Tara called to tell me that her Dad had passed away unexpectedly. I wanted to be strong for her on the phone and find the perfect words to say...but I couldn't. I just cried with her and didn't say a word for almost 5 minutes. I think maybe I just didn't want her to cry alone.
Once we both pulled ourselves together, I asked her what I could do to help. You see, Tara is the strong one in this friendship. She is always the friend I go to when I need rational advice or when I need someone to say, "Jen...everything is going to be okay." But now I was the one trying to be strong for her and I was failing miserably. I just couldn't find the right words to say, especially since Tara has already been through this once when she lost her mother to cancer years ago. I know God has a reason for everything and we aren't suppose to question why things happen...but I still can't help thinking that this just isn't fair. It's not fair to Tara...
And it's just not fair to these beautiful grandbabies...
But then I remember something that my Grandma told me a long time ago. When Eric and I got engaged, my Grandma told me she was so thankful to be around to witness my wedding. I told her that it makes me sad to think about the day when she isn't here. And then she said something like,
"Well honey...I guess it's a good thing you believe in heaven because once I'm there, I'll get to be your angel and watch over you and protect you. And then when it's your turn to join me, you will get to be an angel too and protect those you love and spend eternity with those you thought you lost. It's really a special place".
I just loved that last line and I can picture my grandma saying it :-) And she believes this with all her heart and I want to believe it to. I want to believe that my other Grandma, my two Grandpas, my Uncle Wally, my Uncle Bobby, and all the other people I have lost in my life, including Tara's parents, are up there watching over all of us. And I want to believe that I will see them all again because that thought alone makes my heart hurt a little less. I truly hope that Tara can also find a way to make her heart hurt a little less.
So friends...if you could, please keep Tara and her family in your thoughts and prayers as they get through this very difficult week. And of course, hug the people you love extra tight because things like this are always a reminder to cherish every minute we have.