When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Life's beautiful web (with love to the Thibeault family)

The dad of one of my dearest childhood friends passed away this week.  I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the heartbreaking news, and seeing this wonderful dad's kind face smiling at me one last time from the obituary page brought me instantly and vividly back to my friend's childhood home, where I spent many hours making warm memories with her and her family over the years.  It's incredible how experiences of grief and loss have such power to give us moments of clarity through our tears, and help us to remember the things that really matter most.

We humans move through life much like a spider spins a web, I think.  Each person we come to love, every experience that somehow touches us, becomes an integral thread delicately woven together with others to create a "home" for our soul.  Sometimes we end up far from where we started as we build this web -- we're always weaving tighter circles around whatever our heart draws us to in the present -- but those patterns we wove earlier in our lives are always there, a foundation upon which we continue to grow and become more beautiful as time passes.  Losing someone we love often lets us re-strengthen some of the old threads, to reach out to those who mean so much to us, to wrap our hearts around them and pull them closer to us once again.  Death reminds us that life is precious, that we need to spin our webs with meaningful moments and people who love us and let us be true to ourselves.

My childhood friend and I have grown apart over the years; physical distance and unparallel lives have made it difficult for us to be a big part of each other's worlds.  But the bonds we built through all those shared laughs and tears growing up still run strongly between us, and I keenly feel her loss.  I hope that in this dear family's time of sadness, they can sense my love reaching out to them across all those threads that keep us still connected in heart.  Rest peacefully, Mr. Thibeault.  I will always be glad for the happy patterns you helped weave in my life.

Photo credit:  National Geographic

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