Life Lessons from two 8-year-olds

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He’s a couple of months older, and she’s a couple of inches taller. But, they are generationally linked by their mothers who have shared many ups and downs in 38 years.

Last night, just before 9pm when most of the well wishers, huggers, and grief sharers had ambled their way through the family line, this pair of 8 year olds peered into the coffin. Side by side. All by themselves. Talking and agreeing. I could tell by their body language that something powerful was happening.

And I was a wreck on the inside as I watched them. Undone.

Undone by love. Undone by a couple of 8 year olds who were just tall enough to see this giant of a man resting. His soul already departed, his body here, but not for much longer.

Wrecked. What raced across my brain were lots of memories, but more than that this gap appeared in my mind as I watched my daughter and the son of my sister friend. This gap between a vibrant life well lived and the vibrant lives of two 8 year olds who knew each other before they breathed their first breath. Friends created by bonds deeper and greater than anything the world understands.

It left me breathless. A moment shared by two innocent souls who had no idea they were being watched. I could sense the Spirit hovering above them and Mr. Jerry last night. And I will never forget it. That memory will never leave me.

On the way home, I asked my 8-year-old what she and her friend were talking about. She said, “Nothing much, mama. I just told him that I was sorry that his papa died.”

I cried. She had no idea what was going on for me. After I could talk again, I said, “Callie, I’m proud of you for being there for your friend tonight. Don’t ever forget. We need each other.”

Earlier in the day, she had begged me to go to the wake. I didn’t know if it was best. But she won me over when she said, “Mama, G’s my friend and I want to be there for him.”

She knows. And I pray I never forget this life lesson: being there for your friends is the very best thing you can give them.

I’m still undone. I hurt for my sister friend who lost her daddy. I hurt for all the broken places and wounds we all carry. I know broken things can only heal when you let go of them. When you expose them to the Light.

May we be there. May we love well. May we never forget.

Sometimes 8 year olds know best.

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