This year’s milestone is one that I would never have asked for. Actually each year, month, week, day, hour, minute, breath….you get the idea.
As I start to write this in July for later this year I am concious that this has been in the back of my thoughts more than any other year since you went home to Jesus. At this stage I am unsure of the artwork also.
Here we are. 20 years.
It may be covid reflected on, with the past eighteen months that had/has us all more aware of what is important and what we have missed. Well buddy you are very missed. It has been said before and I have probably written it and uttered it in many conversations in the last 20 years too, loss doesn’t get easier with time, but you learn to move forward, at first reluctantly, but you learn to move forward even if eventually for survival, until you move forward each day to live our best life, because you can’t. Every day before 20 and every day after 20.
I could sit here even in July and think of all the birthdays, Christmas’ with goofy presents and aging joke cards you have missed. I could think of all the moments you haven’t been apart of and lament even more over you leaving 20 years too soon and in the waiting time between now and when we meet again in heaven. But that makes life harder to live and life had to go on. Often reluctantly, often painfully, sometimes without even you in my thoughts, but life continued when yours stopped. It went on without you. It changed without you. It changed with you never changing. Life became complex and more simpler all at the some time.
So with some editing and refinement I now find myself on the coastline 20 years later. I remember the events of this day 20 years ago like it happened today. Unfortunately some things stay with you, especially people who see things in pictures. This artwork that has taken anywhere from seven to ten years to work out how to complete it is now complete. Unlike it, I continue to be worked on.
2 0 is an artwork exploring the life that comes from the ruins we experience in life. The consequences of the things that happen to us, the things that we do to ourselves and all the things that we wouldn’t wish on anyone. Life has 100% death rate, but it’s what you do in the middle that counts. Life has disappointment and losses of all kinds. I am learning more and more how to posture myself with my focus not on the causes of the pain in my journey, but instead on what I can learn from it. What is God revealing about me that I need work on, and what am I doing well that needs to be refined further. He really does bring beauty out of ashes and rebuilds the broken ruins of our lives into works of art. More beautiful than before the pain and loss. That last sentence was a really hard one to write, but to trust God with the junk is stepping out in faith and learning how to trust inspite of the unknown. Again and again and again. I am still working through this too. It will be a lifelong journey of refinement and I’m bound to stuff it up, but that’s why I am so thankful for Jesus.
Life is short. Shorter for some than others, but the middle can still be spectacular if we allow the pain life brings to be an opportunity to learn something new and refining about ourselves.
So today Michael, my sweet, very missed brother, I remember you as a man who lived life well in your short time here, inspite of the crap going on around you and being done to you. You helped anyone that needed a helping hand and you loved fiercely. You were not perfect, but you were my perfect. It’s that kind of love and perfection we all miss!!!
I love you! I’m not sorry I am a better person today than I was then. I am sorry you didn’t get to see the better version of me…but you will get to see my best me by the time I get to heaven….glad JC is my wing man, my strength, my hope and teacher.