Oct. 22, 2020. It finally happened. My first real tears inspired by COVID-19. I was one day into a new decade of life, one I had looked forward to in the way a 15 year old looks forward to the freedoms that come with their sweet 16. Many dread this milestone – but I was all in. One of my husbands students recently referred to someone this age as elderly. Whatever – I was Excited with a capital E.
I turned 50 – 18262 trips around the sun. I have lived some life, tackled many mountains both personally and professionally. My faith in a loving, providing God is solid. I’m now looking forward to the stage that provides opportunities to mentor young women who are on the journey I have previously traversed. I even feel fairly confident I can continue to walk the road of the challenges of 2020 with hope and expectation as well as bring a bunch of people along with me.
But then it happened. I had made it 7 months before allowing this nasty pandemic to push me to face the emotions I’d actually been feeling all along. Time and time again I had wanted to pause, to feel, to honor the sadness that just kept coming. I never did. Each day required a new thought, a new skill, a better attitude, a brighter outlook to just keep going. But that afternoon, sitting in my office after having made yet another decision that would keep us and others around us safe, I cried.
Crocodile tears, loud nose blows, cried. Me, alone in my pink desk chair, feeling the unexpected weight that comes with loss. I was overwhelmed with the reality that COVID had not only hit our town, our high school but now our family. I was feeling decision fatigue as my husband and I evaluated how to handle our situation. I longed for the day that being sick didn’t involve the health department, contact tracing and the intense opinions of others.
And then I saw her.
It was on this day, this day that the disappointments that fueled so much anger and sadness broke through, that I happened upon this loved one. The kind of person that knows you well. The kind of person that has seen you in some things and can speak the words your heart needs to hear.
It was just a glimpse, but a I saw her.
The lines surrounding her eyes spoke of years filled with both laughter and tears that had taken a toll on the sensitive skin that is the first to show signs of age. ( I sell skin care – I know these things.)
I saw her.
The nose shared by her mom and her sisters. The mouth quick to smile unspoken words of encouragement.
I saw her.
The sigh that accompanies deeper thoughts that most likely would not be shared with anyone but herself and her journal. The desire to see the bright side.
I saw her.
Her face was one I’d seen a million times. It was familiar, it brought comfort, it held wisdom that only comes from living many days on earth.
I saw her.
What I love about looking into the eyes of someone you know well is that entire conversations can be had without ever speaking a word and I could tell – she wanted to tell me something. It’s a sweet gift God gives to those that share a heart connection. That is what happened to me in this one, chance sighting.
In those brief moments as we looked at each other I heard her say…
You are Loved.
You are ready.
God’s still got you.
Nothing is too hard for your God.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
God has great plans for you.
As I turned from her face I was filled with a hope that comes from a deep knowing. A peace that is rooted in truth. I shook my head as I moved my eyes from her gaze because it was one that should have been impossible to share. This face, the one that told me so much, belonged to…
She lives hundreds of miles away.
The surprise was that she was no where close when I caught her gaze,
but all of a sudden…….
I was looking her
in the eyes.
This wonderful, telling meeting between my mothers eyes and mine – it happened ..
in my bathroom.
As I stood looking in the mirror.
I saw her. Her wisdom, her love, her compassion, her grace…. things that show up with those fine lines around your eyes, I saw them…..
Heres to 50 and all the gifts it brings.