Live like you were dying….

A lot can happen in the blink of an eye. One moment everything seems to be okay and then the next moment your world changes. Takes a turn.  A phone call you don’t expect can change everything. It’s been two years since I received a phone call like that. 2 years seems like So long ago and yet just yesterday. Two years ago I lost someone I grew up with and loved like a big sister. and I miss her dearly.

Tonight I honored the anniversary of her passing with a 2 mile run.

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As I was running along the river the song “Live like you were dying” came on. It felt like a message straight from Beki. The beauty of  dusk reflecting off the river was a reminder to not take a moment for granted. Not take your next breath for granted or the ability to get out and go for a run. To bask in the joy of the little things. To let go of the frustrations of the day (today was a rather trying day with the nephews.) To find the silver lining in things. To look on the bright side and be grateful for the challenges because they make the good things that much sweeter. Without rain there are no rainbows.

Beki was so full of faith and love and generosity and joy that it was contagious. I want to make her proud. I don’t know if she knows how much I looked up to her. I don’t. But I wish I could tell her. I wish I could hear her sing one more time. I wish I could hug her… just one more time. I wish she could meet her amazing niece who is adorable as can be that she never met. I wish she could see her other nieces that are growing up to be amazing, adorable wonderful little people.

But what I really want is her memory to live on. Her legacy to reflect who she was. And I wish in the middle of stressful, frustrating situations I could remember to breathe. Slow down and choose joy. That really life is too short to not to enjoy it.

Miss you like crazy Beki.

beki memory

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Tribute to my friend Beki

A month ago today I was wishing my friend Beki a happy birthday on Facebook. 10 days later I posted this:  

 Almost a month later it still doesn’t feel real.

I’ve know Beki and her whole family since I was 6 years old. We all grew up together: here is a little flashback photo:  

 Me, Karissa, Rachel, Brittany, Beki and Luke. 

I don’t know why Niki isn’t in this photo… But this was my family growing up. These were my people. My safe place. My sanctuary.  

When I heard the news of Beki’s passing my world just stopped for a moment. I mean really. She is only three years older than me. It just can’t be true. But… It was. It is.  So… In order for this girl to process I did what I  do and I went for a run. A run to grieve, to remember Beki… A run to help me make sense of it all. So, I set out last Saturday on a little memorial run… A run for Beki. I chose a route that went through our old neighborhood, took a little trip down “memory lane” if you will. I chose to run 7.11 to celebrate her life. (Her birthday is July 11th). And listened to praise and worship music because she loved to sing (and had the voice of an angel) …and worshipping was her favorite. 

   I stopped along the way to snap some photos. I fought back tears a few times, smiled a bunch when I was thinking of different memories and I wanted to quit more than once. But I kept pushing.  

 This is the place it all began. soooooooooo many memories here. I ran passed twice because it was so emotional the first time. I thank God that He had us all living here at the same time.  

 Even better than our neighborhood was when we got to go to Cherry Lane. We thought we were hot stuff when we could! Also where most of my Halloween memories take place!  

However most of my Beki memories take place at Apollo high School. I couldn’t make it to Apollo on my run. But what I do have are memories getting off at this bus stop:

 
And walking the three blocks home and Beki and I giggling because I would have to go to the bathroom so bad that I would walk funny. She would continue to bring up this memory into adulthood. We had such a good time in high school. I was a quiet, shy girl who didn’t have many friends in school. Beki and I would hang out between classes in the music room and play the piano. She taught me a lot, about music and life. We even convinced a teacher we were actually sisters. She refused to let me have a bad day and would do anything to make me smile. Always had a joke or story to brighten my day. She was just Such a great listener!! 

Besides memories here are some thoughts I wanted to share from my run. 

Beki oozed Jesus. She was the girl in high school who brought her bible to school. She didn’t care what other people thought.  She was always there to quote a bible verse or teach me about Jesus. She just wanted people to know Him, but she didn’t push it down thier throats… She did it through love. 

I know she is without pain is and having the biggest party in Heaven with her Jesus. Something she lived her life for. I can’t be sad for that!! I am sad for the rest of us. Her parents, her sisters and especially her nieces. Beki was full of love for everyone…but had a special connection to her nieces and it breaks my heart that they won’t get to grow up with her like I did. I consider myself extremely blessed to have had such a great friend…especially during high school which can be a really awkward, difficult time. 

She was true to herself. 

She put others before herself.

She lived “choose joy” 

And after all that I decided what I need to do make her proud. Drop some of the negativity that I’ve been carrying. Realize that life really just is so short and you never know when it’s over. Live the life I’ve been given. Shine like the stars.  Let people know that I love them. Be a good listener, it really make people feel cared for. Be a friend. Have fun. Smile. Laugh.

Of course I could go on… And on… But I’ll end with this: 

Beki (along with her big sister Niki) were both like big sisters to me.  I hope to make them proud. Rest in peace Beki. Your memory will live on…and we will keep your spirit alive. 

🎶🎶🎶 you are the wind beneath my wings🎶🎶

  

Legacy 

I have been thinking a lot about death recently. It all started when Prince died. It was April 21st 2016. A day many Americans will not forget and a day the world turned purple to honor and remember him. Here are a few images that were floating around the Internet of how cities remembered him: 

   
   
The world mourned and you heard tribute after tribute of how he inspired people. Musicians, famous people and well…. America.  As a graduate of the class of 1999 our graduation anthem  was 1999 by Prince. Full disclosure I never really got into his music much. I was more a boy band girl myself. However I can not deny his unbelievable talent. Or the widespread impact of his musical talent and his life. 

So here is what it got me thinking. What is my legacy? What will people say about me when I am gone? What kind of impact am I making? Am I living my life in such a way that I can look back and be proud of the person I was?  What have I done to make a difference? To make the world a better place? Is my generosity reaching further than I could ever imagine? Is my kindness being felt by others? Am I someone people enjoy being around? Am I using my talents and abilities to Impact others in a positive way? 

I guess you could say it left me asking a lot of questions and examining my attitude and my actions. Questioning how I make people feel… Wondering…. What I can do to make the world a better place? I still don’t know how that all plays out or what that looks like… But it’s rolling around in my brain, but it is there. 

I have heard it said that we should live your life so that the preacher doesn’t have to lie at your funeral.  I am endeavoring to live a life that I am proud of… And maybe writing this will inspire someone else to do the same. Is that to say that I won’t screw it up… Fall down and fail miserably? Nope! Have ya met me? I am not perfect. But… That’s the beauty. We keep learning and growing. Let’s create a life worth remembering.