Bre died on a Wednesday evening.
Over 18 months, cancer had made its presence unapologetically known. Clinical trials, surgeries, treatments, and countless doctor’s visits occupied a piece of her time and her mind and her heart. She was exhausted, and at times, discouraged and beaten down. But that was the one of best pieces of Bre--she never let it consume her. She was sick, but she was going to sing and smile and ask you about how your day was going. Because she genuinely cared. She really wanted to know.
2016 dwindled down, and Bre’s stays in the hospital got longer and longer. And Bre became sicker and sicker. If we wanted to be brave, my best friends and I could talk about the logistics and the treatments, and if we didn’t want to be brave, we’d cry and hug and shake our heads in complete and utter confusion over the fact that our best friend in the world was going to succumb to this disease.
How? Why? None of it made any sense.
And if I’m being honest, it still doesn’t make sense to me. The deep cut of Bre’s death bleeds violently from my heart every single day.
Bre’s services came and went, and after a long two days of tears and hugs and prayers. Our old group of friends from high school decided that the best way to honor Bre’s memory would be to spend the night together. We gathered that Saturday evening, and when I say gathered, I mean gathered. We played music and sang and drank wine and laughed loudly and talked softly and caught up on where our lives had taken us over the past ten years.
We patched up old wounds from years prior and buried hatchets that were dull enough anyway. We watched old videos from our high school days and embraced the thick fog of nostalgia filling up the rooms of the house.
2 AM came and went, yet we all still remained. No one wanted to leave. No one could bear to walk out the door and stop this future treasured memory. No one wanted it to be a memory yet. The pieces of all our broken hearts meshed and shuffled and melted together that night into a beautiful mosaic. That night is a work of art.
And now, all we can do was thank Bre for being the artist.
Downtown / Majical Cloudz
One of my favorite dishes to make for my husband was this ridiculous recipe for baked macaroni and cheese. When I say “ridiculous,” I mean two-sticks-of-butter-and-three- packages-of-cheese ridiculous. Horrible for your arteries, but healing for the soul. Comfort food at its finest. It was a regular dinner at our home. And then 2016 happened...
2016 left bruises and scars on my little family’s heart. My husband and I spent most of this year clawing our way out of pain and loss and grief. The joy I had once taken in carefully constructing the perfect meal slowly deflated from my heart with each unfortunate blow the year suckerpunched us with.
When we were invited to celebrate Thanksgiving with a few friends, I was met with the dilemma to either go to the store and buy some pre-made dessert or step up to the challenge, walk back into my kitchen, and make something.
The minute my fingers touched the buttons on the oven and the wooden spoon and the oven mitts, the minute I smelled the bubbling cheese--I knew joy again.
Protect those who suffer loss. Provide comfort for those now missing pieces of their soul. Promise the safety and comfort of eternity for those who are with you in the Kingdom. Make the hearts broken from tragedy into your beautiful works of art.
In your name, Amen.
Call your sister back. Don’t cancel plans with your old coworker to get lunch because you’re tired. Kiss your spouse. Hug your parents. Tell those close to you that you love them. The cliched notion that life is short may be just that--a cliche, but oh my, is it the heartbreaking truth? Tend to your relationships like a delicate bed of flowers. Remember the sorrows and pains and wounds of life and take them with you on your journeys ahead. They will teach you to know joy.
Contact: @kmgarrity on Instagram / www.vinylandpaper.com