We all lose people. We all lose touch with someone, something. This is not a bad thing, it is a part of human evolution, a natural part of life. But sometimes nature doesn’t nurture, and it hurts to lose. The most painful losses of all are the ones that we don’t realize. The process of losing ourselves. They say that when a door closes, a window opens, and I think that every once in awhile, a little piece of you gets caught in the door, and shut in, never to be retrieved again. You lose a part of your self.
What if you could go back and collect all the pieces, though? What if you could reconstruct yourself at three years old. When daddy coming home was the highlight of the day. When the hardest decisions in life were whether to watch Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. When you could change your outfit ten times a day without anyone caring. Back when you sang “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of your lungs from the Wendy’s bathroom, with the unashamed faith of a little girl. Back when you were the epitome of self-confidence, working your way from the back of the risers to the middle of the stage for an impromptu solo during church.
But then you lost some of you behind those doors. Years passed, you began school, and turned four, five, six, seven and eight. You didn’t sing “Jesus Loves Me” in public any more. You quickly grew out of the stage when you were six, and always excited for Wednesday’s when we got to sit with the Special Ed kids at lunch, and on other days, you would find someone who had no one else. But then more years passed,you no longer sat by the lonely kid at lunch, but with the same friends everyday. While you lost some of your tenderness, you also started something new. Those friends that I sat with at lunch made up the Fabulous Four. Lindsay, Sydney, Ashley and Jordan. You all grew so close, you thought you guys could never break or bend.
There was a special snow dance that you performed to encourage snow weather, choreographed by yours truly. When it was cold outside at recess, we would all hold hands and roll up into a human cinnamon roll, taking turns on the inside to warm up. We had super secret special folders that Lindsay’s mom scored for us; they were actually old medical charts, and inside them we had our motto, “No matter what, we show love.”
It all fell apart when we stopped showing love. The Fabulous Four quickly deteriorated, being lured toward other things. Tragedies wedged walls between us, and it wedged a wall between myself and the girl who always wanted to show love. And today, I thirst for the bold faith that allows me to sing “Jesus Loves Me” anytime and anywhere. I long to tell that little girl to never stop singing. I long to tell her to never stop becoming so preoccupied that daddy coming home isn’t special, because it is. I want to tell her to always pick Sleeping Beauty, and to take advantage of the time when that’s all her days were filled with.
I applaud that little girl who never doubted herself, or her faith. I need to tell her to always believe in herself, because that can get her through anything. I so want to tell that six year old to keep sitting with the outcasts and weird people, because they are the people who really need someone to sit by them. I want to tell the Fabulous Four to rejoice in friendship, and to always fight to make it work. I need to tell that eight year old Jordan to get her butt back in that car at Sydney’s mom’s funeral. I would tell her to grab that card that reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord.’ Plans to prosper, and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope, and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11”, because it looks like she could really use that card right now. I would tell her to always cherish the old friends while welcoming the new. If she had found that balance, things would have been a lot different.
But, being a logical person, I know that right now I am writing to no one. That girl, those girls, are long gone. But there is also a saying that goes something like, ‘You can’t move forward until you look back.’ So now I want to move forward and be able to not look back with regrets. You remember your past to learn from it. Here’s to moving forward, learning from the past, and taking a little something from it, too. Tonight, when dad gets home, I am going to give him the biggest hug in the world.
Here’s to the future,
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Jordan, age 14