last night as i wrote my blog i was shocked and surprised at the tears that burned my eyes as i wrote about the memory i had from Tony and Laura's memorial service... then it hit me. April 5th (tuesday) marks 2 years.
2 years ago today i was down in texas visiting rob and carolyne and had no clue that my life was about to be changed forever. I was stuck in texas while my family in Oregon was hurting - grieving the loss of two friends, siblings, spouses, children, and a father.
Today i sit in my room and try to hold back the tears as thoughts bounce around in my head - i wasn't BFF's with them, i barely knew Tony, why is this still so hard, so that's why this last summer was so hard, how could this have happened, i wonder how bobby is, i miss them so much, i just want to give rebecca a big hug, i never want to go to that spot - the thoughts just keep coming.
As i went to bed last night with tears running onto my pillow my heart was heavy. And yet - like i talked about yesterday, there was a peace - and something more.
When i woke up, my heart was still heavy, i fumbled my way through the morning after sleeping through my alarm and made my way to church. I actually got to go to service today and Del's sermon was about living a story worth buying into. What kind of story am i living? Is it what the Lord is calling me to - or is it boring and dry? What about Tony and Laura's story caused it to be such a HUGE deal to me? How can i live a life to honor them? What do i need to change? Could i live a story worth buying into - or will i forever live a boring story?
As i sat in service the tears welled up inside my heart again - and so did the peace - and that other feeling... it's like a fire burning on the inside... small and trembling, but i could feel it building and getting ready to explode. But for what? As i sat and listened to Del - memories of Tony and Laura kept flashing in my brain and the fire inside me kept growing. I was challenged by Laura and Tony's lives cause they both lived a story worth buying into. They lived a life that oozed jesus. It was exciting, raw, humble, and beautiful. I started thinking about Laura - the things i knew of her and the things that were said about her at the memorial.
I want to be like Laura. a gentle spirit that has the strength of a lion - loves truth and runs to Jesus - fights for others and doesn't back down when life get's hard - rooted in scripture and founded in Love. When she walked into a room everyone knew there was something different about her - she was real - completely content with who she was - humble - and had an impact on everybody that she did life with - her and Tony truly lived each day as if it were their last.
Here's where some people would start jumping in and saying - "Ashley, you can't base your life off people, you need to strive to be like Jesus - you need to base your life off Jesus - you can't make choices off of someone here on earth... that's silly". Yeah, i know that... and that's not what this is about - but it is about seeing someone who seemed to have gotten it. even just a little bit more than i do - and using that example to become more like Christ. Its like reading Rob Bell's new book and being challenged by that - but this is a friend, a normal girl - not some super star pastor that everyone knows.
There's something stirring inside my heart - something challenging me to grow and become a better person - to look up to Laura - as a hero, if you will - as a little bit of Jesus (with flesh on). Laura and Tony only lived a short time - but they impacted more lives in the short time they were here than more people do with a full long life - and they continue to shape lives from Heaven. now that's something.
*We all miss you - and Love you so much. Have fun with Jesus. Thanks for being such an inspiration and living your lives to the fullest.