It isn't the length of life, but the depth. ~Emerson
My heart momma and dear friend Debbie's memorial service was yesterday. As I look back over the story that is my life I see lots and lots of awesome people that have come and gone, in and out and sometimes back in and sometimes never out, but there are just a few that I know this - I am the woman that I am today because of their investment in me, my heart, my life, and my story.
Debbie was one of those amazing shining lights and I will forever be grateful for her love, wisdom, encouragement, and passion for the things that are most important. Her life wasn't long but it was deep; its richness was poured out on hundreds and thousands of hearts and I know that her memorial yesterday wasn't one of sadness but of joy and worship and celebration of life.
So I celebrated life, too - I went to the beach with a landie full of ladies and we laughed and talked and walked and splashed and watched the little crabs scurry around when we were still and run away at the first sign of movement. It was a sweet day of beautiful blue skies, just the perfect amount of wind, and one that reminded me that there is something wonderful about the mix of sweat, sand, sunscreen, and salt in your hair as you climb up the gangway, slightly toasted around the edges, and contentedly fall into bed at the end of the day.
What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is... if I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know. ~Saint Augustine
Somehow we're already talking about the end of the field service here in Congo; pack up, sailing, summer plans, who is coming back for the next field service in Guinea and who is stepping into the next different thing that God has for them. It seems it was just yesterday we were all hyped up about this brand new country in a brand new region and my brand new job and all that came with being surrounded entirely by brand new things. I’ve been with Mercy Ships nearly two years now, and I know my time here has only just begun. It’s been a hard season, a learning season, but overall a good season and I’m looking forward to a year of growth; I already know my way around Guinea, and I’m learning my way around my not-so-new job, so it can only get easier, right? One can hope!
I’m planning various summer adventures; starting out with a month in an intensive language course and host family in France, followed by visits with various other European friends. I never knew, until starting to plan this summer, how ridiculously cheap it is to fly around Europe; it’s probably a good thing that I don’t live there or I wouldn’t ever get anything done for the travelling and adventuring! I’m very much looking forward to the time, as well as looking forward already to our next field service in Guinea.
I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. ~Einstein
This is the third country I’ve served in at the end of the field service; I was there for the final push in Sierra Leone in 2011 and Guinea in 2013. There’s all this hype and excitement about the end and everything that goes into packing up and sailing away; soon they’ll be saying how many days until we sail at the beginning of every single meeting. I appreciate this to some extent, but at the same time, I don’t want to be so focused on the next thing that I miss out on what is happening here and now. Amazing things, every single day, if we were to write them down there wouldn’t be enough space in all of Congo for the pages that would be written. I love looking out my window and seeing our littlest plastics patients giggling and laughing their way through their physical therapy; I love serving coffee on Sunday mornings to an appreciative crew; I love hearing the songs and the joy coming from the wards of patients in various stages of healing. What we get to do here is incredible, and I am so very grateful to be a part of it.
Life keeps on, through grief and joy and everything in between.