At this time of year, I fondly remember my dear friend, Cheryl. You see, a few years ago before she passed away from her third round of cancer (she liked to challenge the odds and live passionately), I spontaneously took a week in late winter and drove to her home in Lancaster County, PA. We spent many late nights talking and many early mornings listening. And over the course of that week, she taught and reinforced time and again many life lessons that I carry with me today. They have served me well, and I hope they do for you too. In memory of my dear friend today, I am reposting the meditation I wrote upon returning from that special visit.
She requires a steady diet of faith and fancy with a little mischief here and there for good measure.
You may have a friend like my friend Cheryl, and if you do, hold onto that friend. This kind is hard to find. Cheryl is as wise as she is silly, as faith-filled as she is irreverent, and as calm as she is passionate. She has given me many gifts in the short time we have journeyed together, and I’d like to share a few with you.
1. Joy is there for the taking–sometimes, however, you’ve got to be willing to grab on and enjoy the ride.
2. Tired of the day-to-day or frustrated by work? Get outside. Smell the wind, talk to the flowers, whistle with the birds.
3. Laughter through tears is one of the best feelings in the world, especially if you do it late a night with a cup of tea on a comfy couch with a good friend.
4. Laugh, giggle, and smile–they feel so much better than the alternatives, even when you’re sad.
5. Be affectionate–it feels good to share love and be loved.
6. Eat healthily, but don’t stress over having french fries as a main course now and again.
7. Carry on gardening traditions that remind you of those you loved and who have passed on.
8. Converse with God, pray to God and if you need to, yell at God. If anyone understands why you’re angry, it’s God.
9. Never underestimate the impact your spirit and attitude have on your physical health.
10. Value wholeness and peace for yourself just as you would for others.
Most importantly, don’t forget to let your spirit play, your eyes twinkle, and your heart dance. Cheryl has done that for as long as I’ve known her, and God love her, anyone who can play, twinkle, and dance through three rounds of cancer certainly has plenty of faith, fancy, and mischief. Thanks, Cheryl, for sharing a bit of them with me.