a tree and a leaf

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Today was an unordinary day. In a good way.
I went to brunch with my girl Addie today. We've been friends since the day she was born- literally. After I moved, we didn't see each other very much. We went from spending every day together, to getting together maybe once a month. It was so good to see her again. No matter how much time there is between our visits, we're always sisters when we get together. Nothing changes.
After brunch, I went to church and had two really great lessons. One on judgement, and one on drug abuse. I enjoyed church very much today.

After church, I drove into my old town. I went and saw my sweet grandparents, who will always be two of my very best friends. I want to be just like them when I grow old with somebody.

The best part of the day came next. I drove over to the Alpine Cemetery. I parked by Devin's grave, got out, and looked at it for a while, remembering him. How beautiful his headstone is. It captures him perfectly. Engraved in it are the words to the LDS hymn, "I Stand All Amazed at the Love Jesus Offers Me". There is a school photo of him on the left, and a photo of him dressed up as a cowboy on the left. He loved country music. I layed by his grave for about 45 minutes.

It has been almost exactly one year since Devin passed. November 19th, 2011. The time flew by. There has not been a day that has passed by that I haven't thought about him: the way he bounced on his toes in elementary school, the time I taught him how to shoot a basketball, the many laughs we shared at school lunch. I miss that little boy. I miss the way that he was innocent, that he went through more than I can even imagine, but valued this life so much more than I ever did. I miss pushing his wheelchair down the hallways in junior high or sitting in the booths with him during lunch. That boy had the most beautiful smile, and his laugh was absolutely contagious. To that innocent little boy, everything was funny. Life was pure ease, even though it wasn't, if that makes any sense at all...

As I layed with him today, I played his favorite country artists and watched the orange leaves fall off the tree by the gazebo. The process interested me.
A leaf would fight the wind, hanging onto the branch with all its might as if it didn't want to fall. But when the wind finally triumphed, the leaf fell slowly- peacefully. And when it hit the ground, it was okay. It did not crumble, it did not break: it did not disappear, nor did it change. The leaf was still a leaf, only it was no longer on the branch, it was on the ground. And it was safe on the ground. It no longer fought the harsh winds, struggling to hang on. The winds were now somewhat peaceful, the winds took the leaf different places- showed it different things. There was no more fighting to hang on. The leaf was okay wherever it went.

The process made me think of Devin.

Not only was he blind for 90% of his life, Devin fought cancer for so long. He fought so hard. He was in and out of treatment, he was in a wheelchair. But the time came when we knew- HE knew- that he was not going to make it. I can't imagine the fears he could have had, knowing that his life could end at any given time. He hung onto the branch, he didn't want to fall. But like the wind, the cancer triumphed, and Devin fell. For a while, that's where I thought the story ended. But today, as I watched a leaf land on the ground peacefully, no longer fighting to cling to the branch, I realized: Devin is no longer fighting. He is FINALLY FREE.

I'm grateful for that tree in the Alpine Cemetery. That its simplicity could teach me such an important lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I am grateful for the amazing friendship I was blessed to have with Devin while he was physically on this earth. I could not have asked for a better example to guide me through the rest of my life. Also, I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that Devin is at ease in his PERFECT form; that we WILL be together again.

sweet dreams, loves.
enjoy your extra hour of sleep-

"...i stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me..."

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