So they buried a friend of mine today. Not a really close friend, but we grew up in the same small town, so we were "friends". You rode the same bus, had the same teachers, and many of the same friends. The fact that she was two years older than me really didn't matter in the small school we went to. Ten kids to a class, and with grades 5-8 doing everything together, made everyone get to know each other.
She was a beautiful, talented young lady, singer, cheerleader, a person who would talk to anyone. She may have had those in her life who didn't like her, but she and I got along well.
She passed away this week because she couldn't handle her addictions.
Her addictions cost her everything in her life.
Her family, her husband, her kids, her home, and ultimately her life.
She went to sleep last Wednesday evening and never woke up.
She and I hadn't talked in maybe 10 years.
I know folks who had worked with her repeatedly to get help. Rehab numerous times, halfway houses you name it, she had every opportunity to dry out.
But she didn't. And she died.
I know what she was into the last time we talked, she didn't know I knew, it didn't matter. Those around her had decided to love her, but not enable her, and that's how I treated her.
Everyday on the internet I see people being horrible to each other. A lesbian couple gets verbally assaulted on a subway because someone had the "religious" grounds to make them feel like less than deserving of God's love.
A wonderful young lady with a big heart sees something dealing with livestock that she doesn't agree with and she flips out, bad language and all.
A company promotes a campaign that calls farmers "lazy". The young lady that calls them out on it gets hate mail.
I didn't make it to the funeral today because of some medical work I underwent last week, but I know the funeral was a gathering of people who loved that young lady. For all of the bad in her life, and there was horrible stuff, I hope she knew that folks loved her.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this. What if folks knew we cared about them long before they found out about the seemingly little issues that divide us.
What if our outrage was used for outrage?
And what if we loved with that kind of intensity?
That's the world I want to work for.
Gonna miss you Lauren.