I was overwhelmed to the point of tears today thinking of how special our time was in Dallas last year as 13 of my very best friends from college gathered to celebrate the life of Sweet Hopkins. After the day of the service, and a feast of food and friends - we told stories and laughed and cried and then ... we played cards. It was an unforgettable scene.
I have recently read Donald Miller's new book and it has rocked me. There is part where Miller speaks of a dear friend dying and he describes the scene of being at the friends house, late - the night of the funeral.
"Later, at around two in the morning, when there were only a few dozen people left at their house, I looked across the deck at Steve and Ben sitting and talking to Jim (whose wife had passed away), and as they laughed and drank their wine, I wondered how much it costs to be rich in friends and how many years and stories and scenes it takes to make a rich life happen. You cant build an end scene as beautiful by sitting on a couch, I thought to myself. And I also knew that while this group had experienced devastating loss, the ones who remained were richer still because of her passing, as thought Janice left an emotional inheritance of stories that would continue to be told, stories that would be passed down to her children, and theirs.
I looked across the deck at Steve sitting and talking to Jim, and as they laughed and drank their wine, I wondered about the story we were writing and wanted even more to write a better story for myself, something that leaves a beautiful feeling even as the credits roll."
I hope that through the years we continue to fight our schedules, distractions, and comfort to commit to one another the time needed for the scenes and the stories that we must have in order to be rich in friendship. I am so very thankful for how far we have come - for the stories I can tell and the scenes I can see. I am thankful for a person like Sweet who was in our lives, and showed us what it is like to be a masterful scene maker.
The picture above is what we sent Ivy today to remind her of our love and support and care.
We also sent her a letter, here is part of it for you to read.
"Ivy, we thank God for the woman you are in each of our lives. Together as we look back over the the events of a year ago in remembrance and forward towards the future with hope, we pray that the One who gives us His light burden and easy yoke will hold you tightly in His arms. We trust that He will continue to shape you, grow you, and mold you into the incredible woman that He has created you to be.
We love you so much, Ivy. We are praying with you and for you. We rejoice in the Lord for the works He has done in and through you in the past year.