The tears wanted to come but I tried my best to keep them away. I so desperately wanted to hear everything these dear fellow citizens had to say about Grace’s life and her impact on them personally. Some talked openly with me. Some walked carefully and tenderly, not wanting to rush in and cause tears. Others wiped their eyes while I wiped mine. My cup was being filled up.
It is amazing how empty you can feel one moment. When I say empty, I mean that feeling of being utterly alone, feeling small, hollow and insignificant. Teetering on the brink of despair you draw yourself up into the furthermost corner of the darkened room of your soul, willing the thickened air to cover over and erase you like a hand wipes over a chalkboard and all memory of what once was there is not only forgotten but absolutely irretrievable. Pain and tragedy can take a person to rooms like that.
But then, with something as simple as a smile or a kind word of another person, your spirit lifts. When I say lifts, I mean the feeling of having a hundred pound weight cut loose from the ropes wound tightly around your chest, blood and life fills that hollow cavity of your chest once again and you experience the warm glow of the beat of hope. You actually feel the gentle breeze of the wing of a smile itching at the corners of your heart and slowly your mouth. And when you realize what that person has truly given you, you feel that smile dance and float its way to your eyes. That is when you know your soul has been released from that darkened prison and given permission to breath in the sweet air of freedom and you realize you have been given the honor of being truly touched by the kindness of another person.
You have felt their impact and you become full again…your cup becomes full again.
To me that is what this week was all about. I am acutely aware with every fiber of my being of the loss of Grace. And still the pain of losing her is at times more than I can bear. At the end of the day Thursday, after an emotional roller-coaster ride of a week, I came upon a poem that really summed up how I was feeling. I found it as I was sitting in the City Hall of Lumber City waiting to speak with the Mayor.
I was sitting there soaking up the stillness of the room and the lovely conversation I was having with my dear friend. During the quiet moments, I was rehearsing in my heart every word said to me that day, every hug offered to me, smile given, every tear shed. And it was like two tsunamis collided within my chest, heart and thoroughly throughout my being. The violent overwhelming sense of extreme loss and grief was met with the fierce force of human kindness, love and care. My cup was filled up. It is only after experiencing the deprivation of choice that you truly understand the value of freedom.
The same is true of inexplicable loss and grief. Anyone who has experienced disheartening tragedy knows the value of the hands that bring the fragrant ointment of comfort and healing. I sat there feeling all these emotions and that is when I read the poem that brought pointed clarity to the churned mixture of memories new and old, notions that make my heart conflict with my head, and feelings that are too deep and sharp to fully comprehend. I understood that at the end of the day, after all is said and done, when my grief is weighed against my blessing, I can honestly say, “I am drinking from the saucer because my cup has overflowed!” **
There is no doubt true healing only comes from above. To experience the love of the Father, to know His love, fills the heart to overflowing and the soul can’t help but be glad. He made us and He knows exactly what we need, spirit, soul and body. As great as our God is I have come to realize, He is not enough. I know that sounds odd. Please bear with me. He is God, our Father, and of course He is enough. But in His extreme love for us, His thought is MORE not just “enough”! In His wisdom and perfection, He gave us the gift and light of each other. His design is that we would not be alone.
His commandment was that He be FIRST! Not that He would be our all in all and not need one another.
It is easy to get caught up in our everyday lives and forget the divine purpose placed within us. By God’s design we are needful to each other. The kind word spoken or the warm smile offered is no small thing. To the person dwelling in the dark corners, what may seem trivial and small is actually a window of light and hope. Within us is a contained treasure chest of wealth we cannot understand.
I look into the faces of strangers who are telling me about Grace, wiping their eyes and I know they cannot understand what they are giving me. It is a treasure more precious than gold. In that moment I am humbled by their kindness. My cup overflows. The light of their words and actions has pulled me up and out and I thank them, to the best of my ability.
I thank my Heavenly Father and I know I am now drinking from my saucer because my cup has overflowed.
As I sit here now, going back over my entire week, Friday was just like Thursday. Another dear friend sent me a picture first thing Friday morning of our Trojan High School Football Team’s helmet. And there in a gold circle is the name of our Grace. The image of that golden circle with her name on it worn proudly by those players still reverberates in the depths my mind and heart. The dear friend and Coach both tell me the players are honored to wear her name. But it is I who am honored. So much love and kindness has been given to me and my family. My cup is filled up once again. Many tears run unchecked down my cheeks but these are not tears of grief but of genuine thankfulness. My cup is running over. The existence of my life has changed with the passing of our Grace. She taught me so much through her life and the ones around me have taught me so much through her death. You have taught me the importance of kindness and the value of what our words and actions can do inside a person. Because of you I am humbled and honored to say,” I am drinking from the saucer because my cup overflows!” **(Drinking from the Saucer Poem ~ Author Unknown)