Those are the words of my childhood friend, Holly. She was one of my best friends growing up, and yesterday, she lost her battle with cancer at the age of 39. Holly has the most loving, devoted husband and three beautiful young children.
Holly & Steve at our wedding rehearsal dinner, 1995
When my Dad passed away over thirteen years ago, I had reached a place in my life where I knew there were just some things I could not control. By the time of my Dad's death, I fully understood that God is, in fact, in control, life moves - begins and ends - according to His will, and even crappy events, like Holly's recent illness and death, serve a greater purpose.
Holly, Heather, Allison and yours truly, circa big hair days.
I have known Holly since I was five. Holly was the was the most genuine human being, friend, sister, daughter, spouse I have ever known. She lived her life with abundant joy and hope, even through her illness... not for her own benefit, but for ours... for her friends, her family, her husband and her children.
Heather and Holly, 1991
Yesterday, when I learned of Holly's death, I was pissed. I told Matt that I just wanted to scream. Everything that I thought was dead inside of me came alive. Initially, it was difficult for me to accept that taking a mother from her children, and wife from a husband who adores her, could be part of a "greater plan".
I am certainly not going to pretend to know why Holly's life ended so very early. But, Holly's illness and her strength reminded
many most all of us of what love - love, genuinely given -looks like.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 has the best definition of love. It goes like this:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.