I don’t feel like I’m a great writer, but when things happen in my life that are too hard for me to handle.. writing is my outlet. After I put my thoughts on paper, or in a blog post, it makes me feel a little better. Sometimes I will look back on what I have written and see God working through me in ways I did not realize at the time. I have no idea if I will ever feel that way about this post, but I guess we will see…
Paul, Noelle, and I went to see Switchfoot in Denver a few weeks ago. It was amazing! Ever since then I have listened to all of their albums on repeat — especially Switchfoot’s latest album Where the Light Shines Through. On their new album Jon Foreman sings a song titled Live it Well. If you haven’t heard the song yet then I suggest you pause reading this post and google it. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Live it Well has been stuck in my head for weeks. It may sound silly, but after seeing Switchfoot in person I couldn’t help but feel different about their music and about life in general. Part of the song says,
“Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you’re the one I’m living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah”
I remember coming home and looking myself in the mirror and asking myself if I was living my life well.. or if I was just going through the motions. Was I appreciating every part of my life — the good and the bad? or was I letting silly little things rob me of joy?
I was going to see Mandie soon and I could not wait to tell her about the concert and about my new perspective on life and trying to learn to appreciate it more.
I didn’t call her on the phone. I didn’t text her. I waited to tell her in person.
The day before I was going to see her we were headed to Walmart and I was daydreaming about the next day and how much fun I would have with my sister. We were going to drink coffee, play games, stay up late and enjoy adult conversation with no interruptions..
On our way to Walmart the phone rang and Paul answered the phone. The car’s bluetooth picked up the call and we heard Nancy’s voice over every speaker.
The sound of anguish. The sound of deep pain. The sound of loss.
Everything was a blur after that. We quickly went home and threw some clothes in a bag and then we left. When we were headed to Kalispell I heard Live it Well playing in my head again. I thought about Mandie’s life and her story.
Mandie lived such a full life full of love for God, Caleb, her kids, as well as the rest of her family and friends. She always shared scriptures to me that spoke to her in certain ways and knew it would be a blessing to me as well. She was quick to thank God for the little things, and she was not afraid to stop everything she was doing to pray for you no matter where she was.
Mandie did not know a stranger. As a matter of fact, she invited strangers into her home for a warm, dry place to stay the night and made sure their bellies were full and that they knew Jesus loved them. Her doors were always open and she always had delicious cookies coming out of the oven no matter the occasion.
Mandie was a busy bee constantly cleaning, organizing, folding, or meal planning. And she was determined to finish the job even if that meant staying up half the night. She put a lot of women to shame. Myself included. 🙂
I don’t think Mandie realized how many people she touched in her life and the legacy she has left behind. She lived her life well. She will be missed desperately.
With loss comes sadness for loved ones left behind, but it also brings up some regrets.
I should have called her more.
I should have stopped by her house more and helped her fold laundry so we could watch one more episode of Hoarders together.
I shouldn’t have been so hard headed when she was so desperate to give me advice…
I should have French braided her hair one more time since she couldn’t do it herself.
I hope Mandie knows how much I desperately love her and miss her. My heart aches more than I can bear every time I see her face in pictures. I hope this pain the whole family feels will ease as time goes on. I pray for Caleb and the kids all the time. If I feel the way they feel, their pain must feel so much worse.
So Mandie, if you are allowed to look through a window in Heaven.. I hope you see how hard we all are trying to work to live up to all that you did for your family and for everyone you came into contact with. Your husband and children are well taken care of, and I promise to do the best I can do for them in your honor.
I can’t wait to give you a high five with your new hand.
Do you think Jesus will mind if we have movie one-liner conversations when we see each other again??