Today, in the very early morning hours, a high school classmate of mine departed this life after fighting a HARD battle with cancer.
He left a wife and in-laws and a throng of friends who are, by all accounts, shredded by this loss.
He and I were not close all those years ago at THS, but I remember well how hilariously funny he was and what an incredible writer he was.
I hate using those past tense verbs. Chad should not now be past tense...
All day, I've thought of him, and with every thought of him, I've also thought of his wife. I never met her, but I "know" her from Facebook, from the messages of love and support she's received from relatives and friends all over the country, from her posts. She clearly LOVES Chad. Seriously. Her love is almost tangible in her words, and on her face...the look of love is literally visible in every photo of the two of them. Theirs was clearly a marriage of soul-mates. I say that with no sarcasm or skepticism. Soul-mates. For real.
I can't imagine the pain she's feeling right now. The love and partner of her life will never again hug her or hold her hand or smile at her. He'll never be there again to share a meal, share a laugh, share a conversation. The exuberant and mundane moments of life will never again be theirs together.
I think of that and I can hardly breathe.
Because...what if it were me? What if I were the one staring at an empty chair, normally inhabited by my sweet husband? What if were crawling into a bed alone? Waking up alone?
I have been so, so thankful to have Glen in my life the past four years. Days like today make me all the more thankful for him, and enable me to frame specifically the ways I love...
...his sweet smile
...his quiet strength
He cares about me---actually cares about what I say and what I hope for and what I want and what makes me happy. He makes me laugh. He makes me want to be a better person. He gives me strength and hope. He brings light into my life.
It has been precious, seeing how loved my classmate was and how loved his wife is still--there are so many people pouring themselves out to her, supporting her through her grief. It encourages me to see so much love in the world, and reminds me of all the love I have right here in mine.