Friday, December 27, 2013

Five years.........

Written Dec 20, 2013 10:24am
Five Years……………

In the early morning hours, I was reflecting back on this very day, five years ago when we gathered together to share our sweet goodbyes with you.  Some of the memories are so very vivid, and some, not so much. Perhaps that is God’s way of protecting us – by filtering out the things we need not hold on to when losing someone we love so very much.

For the past few days, my heart has been on an emotional roller coaster ride.  Filled with a plethora of emotions – from bittersweet to sad, from confused to questioning, from joy and thankfulness and from smiles to tears - but never anger or bitterness. For the love that you shared with each of us in your short 17 years here has been a blessing beyond measure. There are those who had the honor and privilege of knowing you and who have been deeply touched by your life, and yet there those who are virtual strangers who share your story, support our efforts in honoring your memory and love you just as if they were a part of your everyday life.

Your life, the life you so graciously shared with us, taught us each how to live.  Your faith was unparalleled your strength unmatchable. Your courageous, never wavering belief in the gift that God has offered to each of us is the reason I am able to live each and every day here on this earth without you.  You taught me that Emily.  You showed me the way.  How can I ever repay or say thank you adequately enough to express the significance of that gift you gave to me?
So, in the early morning hours as I lay awake trying to decide how to celebrate today – yes, celebrate, for surely that is what you are doing today.  So unimaginable so unfathomable to try and reflect on what today is like for you and for all of those with you, but I trust it is tailor made especially for you.  The mystery of heaven and all it holds is something that preoccupies my thoughts daily. Oh to have a glimpse…..

I wanted to go bold – go big – change the world with my actions today.  But after much prayer and reflection on you and your life, I realized your impact on each of us was done in a very small, but very loving, and deliberate way.  You passed that along to each of us in a way that was tailor made for each of us.  In a quiet and often unassuming way, you spread the light and the love to us when none of us really realized that is what you were doing.  It was what made you – you. 
Those of you who are reading this probably remember me saying that Mark often addressed notes and emails to Emily as “MLE”.  Since her passing the acronym “MLE” has come to be known as “Make Leukemia Extinct” for Emily.  Today, on this special and significant day, I want to change the meaning to “Make Life Extraordinary” in remembrance and honor of Emily.  As you go about your day, choose to “MLE” for those around you. Open the door for someone, smile at a stranger, be kind, compassionate and considerate to those you meet for you truly don’t know what their circumstances are, despite what they outwardly reflect to you.   Be patient and understanding.  Smile and laugh,for I can still hear Emily’s contagious laughter and see her radiant smile when I close my eyes.  Be silly.  Wear your purple.  Wear your purple wrist band and share her story if someone asks about your bracelet. Read Deuteronomy 31:8 and believe it.  Be a vessel and share like she did.   Make a profound impact by doing the little things. 

Pay it forward.  And when this day ends, remember all that she shared with us and taught us.  Choose to live your life each and every day as she did hers.  When 2014 rolls around let’s all MLE “MakeLeukemia Extinct” for Emily and all the other children who are undergoing treatment and for those yet to be diagnosed. In the new year approaching us let’s make finding a cure for pediatric cancer possible.  Pay it forward.  Do your part.
My sweet Emily, thank you for loving me, for showing me the way, the light and the truth.  For showing me where to turn when things are dark and lonely.  For showing me how to trust the things I don’t completely understand and to believe in the things I can’t see, but know they are real and true.  I don’t exactly know how I can ever repay you for being the vessel for me, but I do know that the day will come when I will once again be face to face with you and that is the greatest gift of all.

I love you, Emily.

Merry Christmas to each of you my family, my friends!

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