Today marks the three year anniversary of the death of Mary Ann. She was a wonderful person and I admired and loved her so. On this day, three years ago I penned this letter, words I couldn’t express to her in life. I share them with you here, in her memory. (Please forgive the formatting. WordPress hates me.)
Just being born, our beginning, is a struggle that exhausts us and our mothers. Our death, our ending, is heartbreaking to many. The focus of our lives, what makes the ending so difficult, lays somewhere in the middle.
It doesn’t just happen in one moment, but in an entire lifetime of moments that leave indelible marks on this world. The middle shapes the person we are as we grow. It shapes the lives of our children, which, in turn, shapes the lives of our grandchildren for generations to come. Our middles give small portions of ourselves to our fellow man, that they might find comfort in our words and actions.
It’s the middle that creates memories. It is the culmination of all the moments that we’ve loved, lost and risen to the occasion. It encompasses the happy, sad and all that was in between. It includes all the moments that we stood on our own two feet as well as those that knocked us to our knees, and shows our strength and perseverance. The middle is the meat of our lives and it stands as a testament of not just what we got out of life, but of what we gave back to it.
As much as it hurts, life’s end is also a beginning. It picks up where the middle left off. Our death is the beginning of our legacy. We spend the whole of our middles creating what we hope those who outlive us will take with them.
May your family and friends take a large portion of the laughter that was left to them. May they cling to the love with which they were so carefully endowed. May your memory be carried in their hearts forever.
More importantly, may you leave this world knowing that so many loved you, and their lives were made brighter by your presence in it.
Rest in peace, my friend.