Friday, December 28, 2018


My childhood friend's dad died.

Today I sat in the chapel, looking at the back of his daughter's head with her beautiful gray hair, sitting next to her mother behind his flag draped casket as they listened to the last song they'll ever experience as a family in this realm. And I remembered when she used to wear her hair curly and pulled back with little butterfly barrettes. And laughed so hard and so easily that we did all we could to get her going. And accidentally dropped the baby hamster when it pooped in her hands and every kid in class yelled that she probably killed it and made her weep because we were young and dumb and couldn't see past our own 11 year old noses to care how we made other people feel.

You see, I was there for the beginning. But most of the time we're not. Most of the time we know the ending and can't imagine it's ever been any other way.

I didn't know how Angela's dad began. I just knew he wore a hat, was really smart and always smiled. Turns out he loved horses, talked so much that his date (who later became his wife) thought to herself she'd never marry him if he was the last man on earth, and when it came time to pop the question, parked his car and said, "Well?...Well, you know...What do you want to do?...I guess...I guess we might as well."

And they did.

They were married on a cold winter day, with snowflakes as big as quarters falling down as they drove through Sardine Canyon on their way to Logan. Only the two of them knew that at 5:30 that morning, she had locked her purse with their temple recommends inside the apartment and he had to hoist her up to climb inside the window. The perfect way to start their eternal journey—depending on each other.

They fought while she proofread his papers. They had a daughter and raised her as their only child. They worked on a lesson plan to teach people about Christ. They lived for nearly 50 years in a home on David Drive and together made memories to last a lifetime.

And that's just what they did. They lasted his life time. All the way... to the end.

I've known a lot of people lately who have found themselves in this space. Faithful friends walking behind coffins, thanking people for coming, telling stories of how it used to be and wondering how it all happened so fast and why the end came so soon.

And those of us left behind can't help but feel that way. Like it's the end. And we can't imagine it will ever be any other way.

But one day, we'll all be on the other side, waiting for our loved ones to come back to us and we'll know...

we'll know.

It was only the beginning.

And it will never be
Any. Other. Way.