The Sweet Surprise

It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When my friend Susan died unexpectedly, I of course went to her funeral. Check that, it wasn’t a funeral; it was an ice cream social. She made it clear that when she passed away, she wanted to be celebrated not mourned. I walked into an unfamiliar place filled with unfamiliar faces. But in front me, like a sweet oasis, was a long table smartly decorated with six different flavors and every topping you can imagine.

I dug in…for her (hehehehe).

Susan’s daughter, Zoie stood in front of everyone, choked back tears, and refused to speak of her mother in the past tense. Instead, she talked about what her mom is.

She is the beach, the smell of the ocean, the sound of crashing waves, and the sand between your toes.
She is greeting cards in the mail for any occasion, or no occasion at all.
She is breezy afternoon naps in a cool, quiet room.
She is Sunday trips to Goodwill and breakfast at Waffle House.
She is hand-written to-do lists.
She is an unending quest for the perfect purse.
She is complimenting strangers just to make them smile.
She is the smell of babies’ toes.
She is a symphony of wind chimes and so many other things.

Through her heartache, Zoie bravely recited her carefully thought out list, which only grew better and more personal.

She is a cool, soft hand on your brow when you’re sick.
She is a phone call just to say, “I love you.”
She is fountain Coca Cola.
She is unabashed laughter.
She is everyone’s biggest cheerleader.
She is sunshine.

I don’t think I’ve ever left a funeral feeling so happy.

Friend, you only have one life. You’re going to die. That should be the greatest motivation ever. When exactly do you plan on getting started? Hang with people who lift you up. Believe. Do meaningful work. Create, encourage, dream, and do.

What would be said about you at your ice cream social?