Monday, April 26, 2010


That's what my friend Shelly calls her town. You and I know it as Orlando, and I just returned home after spending a few days there with Shelly and her family. While I can't say I was anywhere near as smitten with Orlando as I was with Houston, I definitely did not have a boring time thanks to Shelly's wonderful hospitality.

I wanted to go see Shelly because she had known Michael forever, and she had also become a widow in her forties. I figured we'd have lots to talk about, and we did. Shelly has a way with words, and although we had not met each other but once before Michael's passing, she reached out to me during his illness and was a wonderful source of encouragement to us both. I felt drawn to her kindness, and thus made plans to visit her shortly after he passed.

I'm still processing all the emotions my visit with her brought up - things I would never have expected to surface as a result of spending time with friends of Michael's. Mostly longings for him to be present with us, and for things to have been different in the past sixteen years so that we would have had more shared experiences with friends and family in that time. It's surprising to me how painful those squandered years/opportunities are now, but my grief seems to have many tendrils extended back to years gone by, the present day, and to some extent my uncertain future.

Besides that, my time with Shelly was a real blessing. She is an incredible hostess, a fabulous cook, a good listener, full of loving wisdom, and now I know why she was such a dear friend of Michael's.


  1. Oh, I AM so glad that you got to spend time with her...talking with friends that knew him well is so important as you grieve! You are so amazing! I admire you so...I continue to pray...and I love you! Janine XO

  2. I am so glad you have the time to travel and be with friends! It is hard not to regret wasted time. Time is our most valuable resource! Not many people take that to heart. :( Me included, but you've reminded me with this post not to waste the time that I do have with my family.

  3. Odd thing about grief or any other emotion, you can't really begin to work through them until they've surfaced. I'm really glad you're able to take time and spend it with Michael's friends. Sending you much love and prayers! You truly are an amazing, remarkable individual. Thank you for your willingness to share your journey. There's always a lesson in your words. God is definitely using you in mighty ways! You beautiful daughter of the King!


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