Foreword: I wrote this on May 11, 2013 @ 5:05 pm on an airplane.
It’s a strange thing to contemplate: death.
I don’t know why but for some reason I am feeling rather nostalgic, philosophical, and not “emotional” per se but just thoughtful as I sit on this flight home from Philly.
I was sitting in exit row 17, thinking about what would happen if I were to die on my way home this evening.
How would people react? What have I accomplished? Where would all my stuff go? What would people be thinking and feeling?
And I decided a few things.
BTW I had an energy drink for the first time in WELL OVER A YEAR just as I boarded the flight so all those chemicals may have something to do with these thoughts.
Regardless of the reasoning, here is what I have determined.
The last people that I know well to have seen me are David and Helen Rice. They are also the last people I had physical contact with (I hugged them when they dropped me off at the airport.) It was awesome getting to know them this weekend, and I’m thankful for the time I was given to spend with them over the last three days.
The list of others who I spent time with most recently are a great group of people whose conversation is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced at home.
The people include my brother Andrew, sister (in-law) Michelle, her mom Debbie, and some people that I would like to count as my own friends (we are facebook official after all): Bobby and Bethany Fijan.
As I mentioned, conversation is awesome. These people (almost all grads from UPenn) talk about things that are meaningful and stimulating. They all know the bible very well and have interesting points of view on humanity today. At our dinner table, we discussed deep theology, and at home its always just “how was your day? what’s going on in your life?” but never anything of real consequence.
I seriously don’t mean to bash on my home life: its just the change of pace is so nice and refreshing and just all-in-all thought provoking and makes me feel both intelligent and also very inadequate which is fun and humbling all at the same time. (I need more of this in my life – this being things that humble me).
So in essence I suppose I am trying to say, though my time in Philly wasn’t necessarily filled with adventure, I can’t imagine having spent a better time with better people.
Back to the original point, what would happen if I died.
After I finished reflecting on my weekend and the things that occurred I began thinking about what would happen to my things – shallow, I know. But really I was just thinking, “gee I hope people find my journals and read them and decide I am a brilliant writer that needs to be published” (none of the great artists really become famous until after they die anyway).
I also thought about my clothes and I hoped that my sisters would split them amongst themselves and not be too sad to steal and wear anything.
I hope that my belongings would be a good reminder of the cool hip person I was and not a bunch of sad memorabilia that will end up getting thrown away.
That thought then led me to think about how would people react once I am gone? Who would need reassurance? How could I provide that to them though I am gone and I figured I could write some things to them (here is where this little writing thing that I am doing now comes in).
First of all, I wanted Mackenzie to know that I love her a lot. She is my favorite little person and she is so strong and smart and funny and I really don’t give her enough credit.
Second, my thoughts jumped to Michaela Boere, my best friend since second grade. I thought I would want her to find a note from me that said “I am so proud of you, and happy and blessed to have been your friend. You have experienced so much death at such a young age and I hope that my death is not something that will drive you away from Jesus. I hope you find peace and solace in Him. Please, draw near to Him. Now that I am gone, I can no longer show you the amazing things He has done in my life, but trust me, I am with Him now, and we are both rooting for you. You’re an awesome person. We (Jesus and I) love you bunches.”
I hadn’t really put much thought into what I want to say to others because as soon as I had that thought about Michaela, I began writing this little ditty.
But I guess I’ll keep going because it wouldn’t really be fair to stop now (in the event that I do die) – at the same time, if I died on this plane, no one would probably ever see this thing because my lap top would be ruined, and I can’t save this to drop box because wifi is not free on dis mofo.
Hahaha… I am crazy.
But I digress.
Mom and dad: I love you. I have never met parents as good as you. I am so thankful to have grown up with you two as examples. I’ll always be your little girl and I can’t wait to see you up in heaven (but feel free to take your time, mack and the rest of them need you down on earth – we’ll have an eternity together once you both hit at least 93 years old – then you can join me).
Rest of my siblings: don’t take the order personally. Who ever goes first is not my fave – I just am gonna proceed down the line numerically.
Andrew: you are one awesome man of God. Your guidance and help in my life is irreplaceable. I count you as responsible for leading me back to Christ once we stopped attending church in 2008. I have no idea where I would have ended up without your love of God leading & drawing me back to Him. Thank you. I love you, I pray you and Michelle have lots of cute babies. NAME ONE AFTER ME!!!!!
Elise: My oldest sister and probably biggest role model. You paved the way for the rest of us. I can’t imagine the burden we must have been when you were trying to grow up. I know we always wanted to hang out with you and your friends, you have always seemed to cool to me and always hoped I could have been as successful as you in school, travel, and da loooove department. (this just got real awkward because I just started crying on this plane even though I am writing this for a hypothetical impending death… wow this all seems very morbid to me now). Anyway, I love you. I hope you and Derek have a long, happy, fun life together. YOU SHOULD ALSO NAME A KID AFTER ME!!! (one of you may take my middle name, I give you permission.)
Zach: my brotha! I gotta say I admire your passion for Christ. I admit, I still have not completed reading the whole bible (side note, sorry God) but your life has been a testament to the fact that God still works miracles today. I am glad you have chosen to live, and so thankful for the Lord’s provision in your life. I don’t know, and I know you don’t want me to know, how bad or how close to death you got in your dark time, but I know that light has covered your life and you have a great future ahead of you. I have always thought you would be a great leader of men. Use your experiences and your knowledge Zach. You are the strongest person I know for fighting daily to over come your illnesses. Don’t give up. Pursue God wholeheartedly. I can’t wait to get another chance to sing with your sultry voice up in Heaven.
Valerie: Sorry you are last. You have been one of my best friends for as long as I can remember. We have shared a pretty embarrassing past but you have always kept me grounded and have held me responsible for my brash actions. You are beautiful and driven and prudently cautious. I know you would have always been one of my closest friends through life. Thank you for your continued encouragement for me to follow my crazy dreams of becoming twitter famous – you have always been one of my biggest (and littlest by actual body mass) supports and I love you all the more for it. Don’t miss me too much. I’ll be waiting for ya in Heaven with some good jokes.
My friends and family at church: continue to do amazing things. You are going somewhere together. You have the ability to be such an amazing force for Jesus in our city and region. Let God be your driving force. He is the reason we do what we do. Don’t let strife get in the way of your Kingdom mentality. Don’t miss me too much. Keep having fun. Keep partying. I love all of you and each one of you have made an imprint on my life that I hold dearly.
Thank you for all of your guidance in my life; Brian and Shari, DJ and Angela, Andy and Stacey, Shawn and Shelley, Bri and Spencer, Erica, the whole Jones family, Cathy, omigoodness I could never name everyone that I love at the church. You all are amazing people, accomplishing great things. See you later alligators!
Students, peers, and my girls at the church keep pursuing others at your schools and in your communities. I love you and hope I have had some sort of positive influence in your lives. DJ, you are gonna do such great things and raise up so many to be men of God. Ashah, Mackenzie, Eve, Avery, Sam, Kendal, Subhi, Natalie, Delaney, Austin: I am so happy I have gotten to know you all. Please hold tight to each other, keep each other accountable as you grow up into beautiful young women. Let Jesus be your guide. Stay strong in Him in a world where many young women fall. You are all beautiful warriors for Jesus. Keep inviting – you will do such amazing things for our community. I’m proud of each and every one of you.
I wasn’t really planning on writing that much.
I obviously hope I don’t die young. I still have so many people to reach for Jesus!!!
But if I did, that is what I would want all of you to know.
Sorry if I didn’t single some of you out. There is an infinite number of people who have been such strong positive influences in my life: teachers, friends, family members. I hope you all know who you are.
I love you all.
I’ll continue to live for Him. I hope you’ll join me.