Always Look Back

Someone I hold very dear in my heart has gone home to be with the Lord. I loved her. She never knew my name, but she knew my heart. And though I never heard her speak the tender words, I know she loved me too.

I met my friend in a memory care unit. We visited weekly, sharing stories and laughter and tears. Our relationship grew from acquaintance to friendship to love.

While I spoke with words, she spoke mostly with her loving eyes, her warm smile, and the grasp of her hand.

So how do I know she loved me?

She always looked back.

Let me explain.

As a young child, growing up on the farm, my parents always reminded me of how fragile life can be. They taught me never to take for granted the time we have to spend with each other. We don’t know when our time here is complete, and we should take every opportunity to show our love for one another. One way to practice this was to simply remember to always look back.

Look back when you are leaving.

Look back and say I love you.

Look back and wave goodbye.

Look back with hugs and kisses.

Just look back.

I still practice this today. When I am leaving home I remember. When I am leaving my parents’ farm I remember. When I am leaving the memory ward I remember.

That’s how I know my friend loved me.

You see. We always found each other looking back.

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Happy New Year Class of 1989!

   1989 2014-10-10 at 9.36.45 AM

2014 Council Grove High School Class of 1989 Reunion.

I missed it!

Here’s why.

I didn’t make any other plans. I didn’t blow it off. I even thought about going. I also thought about dieting, buying a new outfit, upgrading my website, liposuction, chemical peels… okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit.

25 years ago I said goodbye and good luck to many gifted and talented high school friends. We all committed to new journeys. I have never doubted these friends are out there in the world making a difference as God has purposed for them.

Some of these friendships have remained. Our generation has been blessed with a technology that sees and knows as much as we want to be seen and be known. With social media, it sometimes feels like we’re all still right there.

Amazingly, I have had the pleasure of running into old classmates in random locations. Spontaneous moments like these are the more authentic reunions of friendship that I have cherished over the years. These moments don’t come with practiced rehearsals of success, covering of age marks and wrinkles, or sucking anything in to get the button done. These moments are simple truths and honest reflections of the real me. As it should be.

So after 25 years, here is what is most important to me, what I want you all to know.

I love God. I love people.

This world out here is not easy. Just like they said twenty-five years ago, it really is full of blood, sweat, and tears. But I have a Savior who gives me joy and hope for every tomorrow. And I pray you have found Him, too.

I have a thankful heart for every blessing I have received. I am blessed through family and friends. You all have been a part of that. You’re a blessing! I am thankful to have shared a little piece of my life with each of you and I encourage each of you, and I pray for you, too, as you all continue on the path God has marked uniquely for you.

I’m hopeful many of our paths do cross again, Council Grove High School Class of 1989. Until then…

Happy New Year!