Young, full of zeal and adventure, they each chase careers and love, and yet in the giddy excitement of it all, they have the courage to remember.
Mackiegirl, Mackenzie to some but Mackiegirl to me, planned to spend the summer in Spain leaving just a day after we watched our friend Aldyn marry the original Mr. McDreamy. Days before that elegant wedding, Mackiegirl offered to take part of Taylor with her to Spain.
Joey and I didn't hesitate to say yes. Tay dreamt of studying abroad, finishing her Spanish classes in Spain and seeing the world. We have to believe that heaven is much grander than Spain - but our earthly minds miss that experience for her, miss watching her red head glow against a Spanish backdrop, miss hearing what no doubt would have been adventurous stories and watching her green eyes dance as she spoke. But those are just dreams we've created from memories.
I placed some of Taylor Renee's ashes in a small jar and wrapped it in tissue paper to protect those who might be offended, offered it to Mackiegirl and thanked her quietly so as not to sob.
Mackiegirl, in her pixie-like way, giggled at the spice jar as she studied the earthly remains of her friend. Can you imagine being 23 years old and offering to take the ashes of your friend overseas? Just the asking requires a kind of courage I am sure I did not possess as such young adult. Consequently, this sweet girl who has occupied a corner of my heart years took part of my heart with her to Spain.
Early Wednesday morning before the Oklahoma sun rose to greet the day, my phone buzzed with a message and Mackiegirl shared these words from Spain:
"Mama - she is swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.....
at the foot of a cross on an overlook of Barcelona
and at the roots of a purple blossom tree in Gaudi's Park Guell."
I love you. Thank you for letting me take Sissy to Spain."
With that, I remembered Taylor and Josie's blog, and Taylor's vow to continue tormenting me with her plans to travel the world starting with Spain. Laughter mingles with tears and Josie in her youth still stands so wise - "great joy and great happiness can exist."
There is no getting over this loss; we are with it every day. Mackiegirl's small act of courage and the countless others lead me always back to great love and a yearning to have great faith - the kind of faith that let's you carry your friend's ashes overseas, the kind of faith that reminds us that even Spain is temporary, the kind of faith Josie, Ashley, Aubrey, Aldyn, Carlie, Kendal, Brynne and Mackiegirl share with me.
Psalm 73:23-26 "Yes I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. you guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My files and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my hear and my portion forever."