While this post was originally published on August 20, 2015, it’s been running through my mind a lot recently. Last week would have marked my friend Lori’s 40th birthday. Today I spent the morning sitting in front of the fire at Starbucks, in the same seats where Lori and I enjoyed our first coffee together in early 2013.
With the holidays upon us, it seemed appropriate to repost this. Let’s keep our eyes on what is truly important this season.
This week my friend Lori died suddenly after complications from a minor outpatient surgery. This healthy, beautiful woman was only 38 years old. She left behind a loving husband and two precious children, ages 10 and 6.
I am still reeling.
When I received a text from a friend asking if I’d read my email, I saw the news and it refused to register. This isn’t because I’ve never experienced death–I’ve had plenty of it in my life, losing friends and family of all ages. But this marked the first time when as a young mother I lost a friend who was also a young mother.
Lori was talented, and she wore more hats than I’ll ever be able to manage: interior designer, Premier jeweler and mentor, PTA president, and that’s only the beginning of a long list. She won awards and trips and recognition over and over and over. She created a beautiful home and no one–no one–knew how to dress and accessorize like Lori.
But honestly? None of that matters. What matters is that there is a huge, gaping hole in the hearts of those who loved her and knew her best.
Every time I think of her daughter (10), I fall apart a little. How does a girl grow up after such a loss, right before her teen years?
As I’ve spent the past few days processing, this fact keeps shouting in my face: in the end, all that matters is our relationships. Not the state of my house or my checklist or my appearance. Not my career or my accomplishments or paying the bills right on time. Not the neighborhood I live in or the car I drive or the trips I’ve won. I’m pretty darn sure that those things aren’t even on the radar in Lori’s family right now. They miss their wife and mom and sister and daughter. Period.
I know (because I know me) that I will always need to have checklists and goals. But I want Lori’s death to be a constant reminder to me that in the end, people are what matter. So I’m going to hang a picture of her family on my fridge and pray for them and let them speak to me as I go about my day and hug my kids and spend time with My Guy.
I’m so glad God brought you into my life, Lori. We will miss you!