It was a choice to enjoy her birthday Sunday, October 6. Many of my closest friends and family joined me and my family Sunday to honor Grace by dedicating “Grace Park” behind our, and her, church building in her memory. It was a choice as we gathered beside her grave to celebrate her life with love and laughter as Alese spray painted a purple rose on her grave while her brothers watched, her dad sang and friends stood close by.
Grace was and is the epitome of inspiration. I marvel at her courage, faith and spirit all the time. When I am at my worst, I remember Grace at her best. I wish I could say her best was when she was footloose and fancy free without a care in the world, acting like most spontaneous and erratic 19 year olds, but that is not true and very short-sighted. Grace’s best, her most excellent of heart, was when she had every reason to be angry with God, angry with the world and bitter with her life but chose to love God instead, embrace her life and fight the never ending pain. She did this all with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Grace saw and understood the beauty of choice.
It was Grace’s choice not to be a victim of cancer and that made her a victor in life. The dark seasons of our life seems to want to dictate and whittle down our choices until we feel we have no choices left to make at all. It is those times we become victims- victims of life, victims of circumstance, victims of the very thing we hate. Grace made a choice early on in her journey not to be a victim. Her dark season came and with it she saw the Light and Beauty of choice. And once she made her choice, she never changed her mind or direction!
Grace’s choice is made, mine seems to waver more than I would like. If Grace’s choices were based on how she felt, she would have never left her bed. And her infamous smile would have faded into crumbling tears. There is no doubt she had every reason to cry but she chose to laugh, love and live instead. When a heart chooses to live above the circumstance and stand in Faith, I believe the grace of God abounds and helps to sustain our choice. Grace understood the grace, power and sustenance of choice.
I am still looking at her life and learning from it. I wish I could say the dark season of my life is over, but I see the heavy black clouds that hang low and dense and I sense the eerie stillness of the air around my heart. But at the same time, I see Light stabbing and piercing through those ominous clouds and I understand the beauty and victory of the day is contained in the power of my choice.