When we planned our trip to Boone in the spring, for a split second, I got excited about seeing you. Then I remembered.
When we went to Passion this year, for just a minute, I smiled at thinking about watching you worship your heart out. Then I was reminded.
When summer came and all the college kids came home, I thought about listening to you make jokes at Bible Study. Then it hit me all over again.
A year, in some ways, has felt endless. Sometimes, when I look back, I feel like these 365 days have taken their toll, worn us all in ways that all the other passing years combined did not.
Yet, after the moments when I forget, after those quick seconds of forgetful bliss, I am met with a crashing realization of your departure, and these 365 days feel like a blink. I feel like I just inhaled for a typical breath and am kicked in the gut all over again. A year since you went away. And it hurts all over again.
And suddenly, I feel selfish. Because those closest to you must feel that more often times than they can count. Face to face with great loss, I feel selfish in raising those same questions. I feel faithless in letting a tear fall. Because I should be happy for you. I shouldn’t be sad for myself. I shouldn’t even be thinking about myself.
But the tears still come. And I don’t always stop them. Because with a life like yours, Sweetheart, losing you was a loss to the whole earth. No one can be blamed for feeling that kind of grief, because to even have spent one second with you merits some gut-wrenching grief; because in one second, you could do what most people don’t and won’t do in a full life-time.
You changed the world. And every single day, when I pick up my keys, I feel the worn out cloth of that converse keychain and I think about our last hug. And the truth is, you’re still changing the world. You made me better. You pushed me to see the joy in my every second.
And I promise to keep sharing it. ‘Cause I promise you, sweet girl, it’s with me every place I go. In the questions about God’s goodness, in the moments when others are begging me for answers. I think about your death and I think about your life. And I’m able to say He is good. Even though it doesn’t seem that way, even though I don’t understand. Even though losing you has devastated so many. Even though, sometimes, I think most of us still feel a little angry at God.
But in your time here, you made us better, you loved us with the kind of love that never carried even the slightest taste of condition or expectation. I’m better at loving because of you, I’m better at living because of you, Paige.
One year has passed. Many more will. But you’ll keep changing the world, because that’s what you were born to do.