Letter for me: Happy birthday, my friend.

Happy birthday, my friend.

I love you. I miss you, terribly. Today, is the first time, in 35 years, I can think of your birthday, and NOT my day of anger/rage.

I have missed you, my friend, so much. I miss, your laugh. I miss, your smile. I miss, the way you were forever picking on me. I miss, how you liked saying shocking things to me. All, to make me cringe, and you laugh….*cringe*….*blush*….

I’m sorry, my friend. Sorry that I turned away, from you, from our friendship, in a fit of anger/hurt. I don’t even remember, who made who angry. I just remember storming out. Stomping, down the walk….*sigh*.

I remember, your opening the screen door, calling my name, asking if I would be returning for your birthday, the next day.

I remember, turning, furious, and telling you I would return. At least, I have that. Your eyes, pleaded with me, to come back. Am sure you wanted to hash things out. I will FOREVER, ache that I did not return. I told myself that I would see you, tomorrow, April 1st. Your birthday.

How would I know, you would have a stroke? How, could I have EVER known, you would be in the hospital, on your birthday. That, your life, would end on April 1st?

Your pain, ended on April 1st. Mine, sadly, was just beginning. Yes, I saw you, briefly, that night. You were in a coma. I never saw your gaze, upon mine, again. Your pleading look, as I turned from you, has chased my days, haunted my nights, for 35 years.

I mourn, your loss. More, I mourn, the lost opportunity. It would have taken 20 steps, to return to you. Had I ONLY known, my friend, these would be our last moments, I would have held you, one last time. We never got a:

Last, hug.

Last, laugh.

Last, cry.

THAT moment, has haunted me. THAT moment, has caused me to turn away, from so many other moments. I was too angry, with ME, to receive them. I did not think myself worthy, anymore. Of:

Love.

Joy.

Peace.

Hope.

Freedom.

I was punishing myself, you see, for having punished you, in turning away, at your need. So, I began, turning away, from myself, and my needs. I did NOT deserve:

Love.

Joy.

Peace.

Hope.

Freedom.

At, THAT moment, that awful, life-altering, life-changing, soul-destroying, DEVASTATING moment, I caged, Jaybird. Seemingly, forever. Or, so I had thought.

Thankfully, God, Life, and Jaybird were relentless. Relentless, in pursuit, of ALL my broken pieces, my shattered heart.

As surely as I turned away, my heart shattered, into a million pieces. Every since, I had been trying to earn my way, back into Life’s good graces.

God never meant for me, to have sacrificed all future happiness, based upon one foolish, unknowing choice. My friend, you would never have wanted me to, sacrifice all future happiness, based upon one foolish, unknowing choice.

Words, are powerful. Even, unspoken words. Sometimes, the unspoken ones, are much more devastating, than spoken words can ever be.

Unspoken words leave much, too much, to our imagination. We are left, to wonder, to surmise, to make up conversations, in our heads, in our hearts, of what the other person may have, probably are, may be, thinking.

We have, NO idea. Yet, we dramatically hold conversations of what could have, should have, may be said.

This is what I have done, have tried not to do, with you, for 35 years. The conversations never went well. I found anger was getting in the way. I was so very angry, with me, for not returning. For denying us, for denying me, one last moment, with you.

I have died, a thousand deaths, beating myself up, for not returning for that last hug. And, in denying you, your last hug. Well, it turns out, I have been denying, myself, of so many hugs, from so many relationships I have not fully invested myself in. I did not trust myself. To not turn away, yet again, in anger. The anger I have carried, buried so deep I don’t feel it until the end of March, comes around.

THAT moment.

Dear God, THAT moment. I can not, tell you, how many times, I have:

Kept, to myself.

Hid, ALL emotions.

Rejected, possible relationships.

Ended, promising friendships.

Refused, opportunity.

I became an expert, at:

Hiding.

Running.

Denying.

Defying.

From, new moments, life-changing moments, life-giving moments. I did not think I deserved them. I feared, what I would DO with them. I was, quite frankly, afraid to find out. I did not, trust the moments. Okay, I didn’t trust, ME, in the moments.

Thankfully, God, Life and Jaybird were relentless. See, God wants us, whole. Jesus, wants us, free. Life wants us:

Fulfilled.

Satisfied.

Blessed.

Tested.

I am grateful. So, very grateful, for the Relentless Love, of The Father. I am awed, of the Humbling Forgiveness and Grace, of Jesus. I am amazed, at the extreme patience, of life. I am truly humbled, at the unconditional love of Jaybird, MY Jaybird, the spirit of love, hope, peace, joy that God has given to us all.

We, all of us, were created, in the image of God. God IS Love. The definition of love, in the bible is this:

1 Corinthians 13: 1- 13(NIV) – If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

It because of, God’s Love, for me, I was FINALLY, able to start loving me, the way He loves me:

Unconditionally.

Relentlessly.

Fiercely.

Unapologetically.

Graciously.

Because God, Life, and Jaybird, cut the hole, lowered me to Jesus, last night, I was set free. Released, from THAT anger. Healed, from THAT moment. As, I gave Jesus, my broken pieces, my broken heart, my anger, my shame, my guilt, ALL my fears, He replaced them all. Replaced them with:

Forgiveness.

Healing.

Peace.

Love.

Joy.

Renewal.

Restoration.

He took my broken pieces, my broken heart, covered them, with His Precious, Priceless Blood, and made me:

Free.

FREE!

It is with, this freedom, I speak with you, now, today. On your birthday. April 1st. I weep, as I type these words. I realize that God has changed THAT moment. He has turned it into THIS moment:

Your birthday.

Now, MY birth, day. A new, day! Free, from anger. Free, from fear. Free, from doubt.

I hope again, my friend.

I hope!

Happy birthday, my friend. I am certain, you are happy, for me. The tears I pray for you now, are tears of:

Gratitude.

Love.

Joy.

Thank you, my friend. Thank you, for all the time, we spent together. Both the good times and the not so much.

I hate to end, this letter. I enjoyed, THIS moment. Our new moment.

Continue, to rest in peace. For, I now, am at rest, at peace. Jaybird, flies. I, Cassandra, now flies with her.

Love with all my heart.

Cassandra JAYBIRD ALWAYS

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