Joey read the final draft and moments later said, "It doesn't seem like this is our life," as he held me against his chest. Thankful that there are not a finite amount of times I can bury myself there.
Wade read it later. Afterwards, he just handed the computer back. "Do you want to add anything pup?" He shook his head having tweeted his impact statement in the middle of the night.
Life in its measure moves forward. Wade's laughter, at this moment, ignores the door between our bedroom and the living room and fills the space in which I sit and write. He hasn't stopped talking to his dad about football, or girls, or school, or politics since he stumbled out of bed. His gregarious nature remains untainted by the impact of grief, and for this, we are so thankful.
I received a great metaphor for this in a text this morning from my friend Sheryl - I love a good metaphor. It reads:
"Our sermon today was on the importance of community. He told a story about mountain climbers. for whatever reason, climbers only climb Mt. Rainer at night. Four climbers tie themselves together. If you hear the guide say "Man down!" you immediately slam your ax into the snow and get down on one knee because someone is slipping down the mountain. The other three must provide an anchor to save the fourth."
Her text finishes like this and illustrates one of the reasons my son courageously plows forward through this undeserved consequence.....
"My ax is in the snow. You will NOT slide down the mountain. All the way from Florida, I gotcha."
Now that's an impact statement...
And there are 'climbers' in Colorado who have my parents, my brother and my sister. There are 'ax carriers' in Texas who anchor my cousins; there are brave souls in Norman who protect my aunt and uncle. I see Taylor's bracelets (the one's that Tracy sent from her mountain of grief after losing her daughter to a drunk driver) on the arms of my colleagues and friends. Countless other examples could fill this space, and I reminded to be good and kind each day going forward and yet, convicted for not loving people in my community better.
I hope you have someone who will throw their ax in the snow for you. I hope we don't wait for tragedy to tie ourselves together, each in our own way, to take a knee, and save a soul.