Friday, November 1, 2013

Letter to Arielle

Your sister and you (in 2008)
knowing that I was going to take a picture.
Good morning sweetheart.

It dawned on me last night before bed that I didn't write on your wall yesterday - for the first time since we learned of your accident ... on October 22, 2013. 

But ... I know you don't mind, because it means that I'm starting to heal. Just a little tiny bit. A friend shared with me yesterday in a way I could understand inside my heart ... that you want me and your dad and your sister(s) and everyone - ALL who love you - to comprehend that you are supremely happy and safe and at Home where you now are. Deliriously happy... beyond human understanding. And that you still want us to be happy, to look after ourselves, to look after each other, to enjoy every day of our lives. Every. Single. Day. Like you did. 

Even when things were tough.

I remember how just a few weeks ago,I texted you as you were living in your car, like I did several times a day. That week, I was SO not looking forward to Thanksgiving. It had always been a family meal, with you sitting across from me at the table and stuffing you mouth as full as you could get it, as full of as many parts of the meal as you could get in there, until your cheeks were puffed out ... that I just couldn't get into the holiday now that you were homeless, running on empty all the time, waking up freezing every morning. :(  

I told you I was seriously considering cancelling Thanksgiving. 

You wouldn't hear of it.

"Oh Mom. Don't give up your Thanksgiving spirit. I'm here and I don't have much. But I'm still thankful for what I have. You and my family and friends. So don't give up on Thanksgiving. Please." Your attitude gave me the strength to at least do a chicken up and have someone over for a meal.

And now you are gone from us.

You KNOW that I ... we ALL ... miss you. You KNOW that. You have watched us as we've been broken, shattered because of losing you from this earth. But as we are learning even more how incredibly amazing you were while you were here, we're starting to see life, and people, the way you do. That's your legacy. What a tremendous gift! I wanna thank you, princess. So. Much.

Here's what we're learning.... SO far. 

It doesn't matter whether a person is "red or yellow, purple, green, black or white or in between" as we used to parody "Jesus loves the little children of the world". (And you'd roll your eyes, teasing us.) It didn't matter to you if someone was gay or straight, male or female or something else, overweight or rake-thin or anything in between, Christian or atheist or Buddhist, wore a 3-piece suit or a thong.  You accepted people. ALL people. You loved them - you loved us all - just the way we were: warts and all. 

You hated it when people took themselves too seriously, more concerned with appearances and protocol than they were about compassion and mercy, about celebrating who somebody was. You hated hypocrisy and condemnation; you'd gotten too much of it in your short life and you knew how that felt. Thank God there is no condemnation at all where you are. 

You gave of yourself until it hurt; you seriously went without ... to the point of giving up food, clothing, toys, money ... so that others could have. Over and over I am hearing the stories now. The lives you touched. The hearts you mended. Your deeds - done in secret - are now being proclaimed loud and long.

And now it's YOUR turn to be given to. For all eternity. Although ... I am pretty sure you'd find a way to give it all back. ;)

I saw a new post on your Facebook wall this morning from one of your old crew here - Anthony - his first time on your wall since the accident. He told you that he remembered how you were there for him after he had a bad motorbike accident last year ... an accident that made him unable to walk for quite a while. How you went to see him in the hospital ... and worked so hard to get him outside of himself (and his house) after he went back home and got into physiotherapy. 

That's so typical of you. 

You inspire everybody who knew you. You inspire me.
I only hope that someday I am worthy of the lessons you are teaching me.


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