We never know the impact we have on our world until we are gone.
It was a magical afternoon. In fact, it was the day of her birthday celebration. She would have been 51. The room was filled with familiar faces from the community where she worked to the bright young women (and their families) with whom her daughters played sport. People of all ages and from all stages of her life were gathered, some seated while many were standing, overflowing into the hall. They were all people she touched during her precious years with us. Her husband sat in the front gazing out the window (wiping the odd tear) beside his two beautiful girls who remained stoic.
The setting was beautiful looking out onto the golf course. A little bit of fog and then during the speeches a little wet Vancouver rain. The room was overflowing with abundant love.
I sat beside my daughter. I wished my husband and son were with us. You see, this woman not only touched the lives of those in the room, but many that couldn’t attend. Her girls are friends with our two university kids and my husband and I had the honour of cheering from the sidelines at many sporting events in our community alongside this beautiful woman. I only regret not speaking with her more. Often we get caught up in our own lives, we forget to take the time to be present in our own world.
She was only 50 when she left us and we will never understand why but we know she left the world a better place and touched the lives of many. Her immediate friends (soul sisters) were all there and you could tell they too were broken with the loss, but now gain strength by holding onto the memories and good times they shared. The stories they told were precious and joked that most of the themes spoken were about drinking wine and dog walking together. We will never know the impact of this loss on the family dog as well.
A slide show to Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely shared with us her wonderful life and adventures travelling. The pictures told the stories and the smiles drew us into the warmth of those experiences. There were many smiles of she and her family and friends and I could feel her joy. She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful family.
My heart broke (and my tears ran down my face) when her daughter spoke with such grace and pride, yet I gained strength as I listened to her thank her Mom for all that she had provided to she and her sister. She spoke about appreciation for giving them endless opportunity in their sport, the numerous times she supported as a cheerleader from the sidelines, or driving to practice. She described those deep conversations (the kind we can only have with our children) and the impact they had on her personal growth. She described the tears they shared in both good times and sad. She thanked her for helping build she and her sister into the strong women they have become today. She promised to her Mom that she would be strong without her at her side during her university graduation, wedding and other milestones in her life. Without hesitation, she said her strength today and as goes on with her life, is because she knows her "Mommy" will always be with her in spirit.
Her smile now shines through the two beautiful girls she has left behind.
Her impact from today will empower many to live life and love with all that you can.