I was working my regular 7/7 shift this week, when Sunday night, the most dreaded of texts came.
"Did you hear about Sean Sumner?"
Immediately, I called the friend who sent me the text.
"What kind of news is it? Should I be sitting down?"
"Its the worst kind. Yes, sit down."
And, the dreaded news came out.
My good friend, Sean Sumner, had passed away Thanksgiving morning.
Sometimes I feel like I've betrayed my east coast friends by moving far away - the viewing was Monday night and the mass + burial was this morning. To not be there is difficult, to say the very least. I wish I was there. I wish we were all still here.
Tyler asked me how I was doing, and all I could think to say was, "Why are all of my friends dying?" In the past 4.5 years of marriage, I've lost almost 10 people. Over the last 12 years, the number has almost reached 70. The numbers aren't supposed to be impressive - I simply count so that I can remember each one of them. Never forgetting the impression they made on my life, never forgetting their contributions, no matter how insignificant they seemed.
I feel weary.
I wish it was enough to call everyone I know and tell them I love them, tell them thank-you, and tell them to stay safe. I wish I was still in touch with everyone I've known. I wish I was better at that.
As I hold my sick little baby, watch him cough, rub his eyes, and snuggle against me while he sleeps, I think of the ultimate blessing that I hope to continually qualify for - forever families.
Entering the Christmas season will always bring Christ to the forefront of my mind. He holds the balm of Gilead that I need; He holds the Atonement that can and will bring peace to my soul. And in turn, I will try to be His hands here, in the lives of those around me, to bear them up and give them peace. Sometimes, I even pray to God and ask him to say hello to my friends/family for me. I pray that they'll find the truth of the gospel. I pray that their families will find peace. I pray that we will all find peace this holiday season.
I am thankful. I am grateful. I am blessed.