It has been 4 years since our friend Jonathan passed away. Whenever he comes up in conversations in our household, my thoughts always go to "why?" Why did he have to die so young? Why isn't he still here? How could this happen to someone so amazing?
Time gives you a perspective that you don't have in the midst of grief. We spent hours in the hospital with his friends and family. The Christmas season always causes me to reflect on those memories. I recall each trip to the hospital, each update we received and realizing that the last time we drove there was the actual last time.
Within the walls of the waiting room, friendships were born. We gained through losing. We gained friends. Friends that to this day I text with. Friends that we played softball with year after year and created really amazing memories. Friends that have supported us through our trials.
One memory that stands out was at Jonathan's memorial service. There was a chance for friends and family to share memories and I wanted a chance to share a funny story from when we worked together. The person with the microphone was on the other side of the room and didn't see me raising my hand. Our friend Michelle, who happens to be the wife of the Pastor who's church we were in, saw my hand raised and spoke up for the microphone to be given to me.
This was a person who I had only known for a week, maybe a week and a half. Sure, we spent hours and hours together in a waiting room but I'm not sure if we had many deep conversations. But when I wanted to say something at that service (one of hundreds of people who had hoped to talk on the mic), she helped me out.
At the time, the thought of being grateful for friendships gained seemed insignificant. We lost our friend. Kids lost their father and his wife lost her partner. But there is no going back now. Four years later, the friendships we made while praying for Jonathan's recovery and mourning his death remain in tact.
So thank you Jonathan, for bringing people together. You continue to provide joy for people even though your time on earth has ended. You have provided me with the gift of a lifelong partner and lifelong friends. I remain forever in your debt.