Avoiding the pain

I mentioned to someone that I would post some pictures of Margaret on my blog a while ago. I can’t even remember the date, but I said I’d post them that night after I finished up all the things I needed to get done. I still have not done that. I believe it has been at least a week since then.

I guess you could say that I am just avoiding the pain. The ache of missing Margaret is still very real. That is the loneliness that is left behind when someone you love and care for leaves you. There is no way around that. The fact is that I MISS Margaret. If I sit and reflect too long, I have tears well in my eyes. The truth be told, I am going to miss all the the things that Margaret did.

I know that when the Christmas Holidays come around, I’ll miss the random Christmas card. Margaret always sent me a Christmas card though I can’t say that I was as good as she was about sending them. Nevertheless, every year I got a Christmas card from her even though she never (it is that rare) got one in return.

I think about the next High School Reunion (even though it is a few years off still) and I know that Margaret won’t be there. It doesn’t matter that she might not have attended anyway, it is the fact that I KNOW that she won’t be there. Heck, I don’t know that I’ll even go, but I still KNOW that Margaret won’t be there. I know that there will always be the questions about what happened and when it happened that will still have to be answered, reopening that ache and missing and…

Then there is the time that I log into www.ravelry.com and know that she won’t post any new projects. I know she didn’t post as many as she completed, but it is the fact that she just won’t be posting pictures. She did such beautiful work. I truly appreciated the way that she took to it and didn’t make me feel inferior because I didn’t knit as fast as she did or didn’t understand something as well as she did. For her, it was a shared talent.

Along those same lines, it is the fact that when I take Lance to playgroup at a particular park, I remember fondly but sadly the time that Margaret and I sat in that very park…when I taught her how to knit. How she took to it like a true natural…better than I did. That was Margaret though, if she truly wanted to know how to do something she didn’t give up until she figured it out. The park is still there. The picnic table is still there. Margaret and I will not sit together and knit.

So for me, it is just avoidance of those things that remind me of the things that I won’t have anymore. I guess on some levels you can even say that I am being selfish. I knew so much of Margaret. I have so much to share of her with everyone else of those years where everyone else lost contact. Of course it means that I also have so much more to miss.

For those of you who have made it this far, please know that I am trying my best to not wallow in self-pity. I am trying to do the things that Margaret would want me to do. I know that she wouldn’t want me to be sad. I know that she wouldn’t want me to hurt and be miserable. I even know that she wouldn’t want me to dwell on it. In reality, though, my heart aches. I do feel like I have had an arm ripped from my body. That pain doesn’t go away because I want it to. I have to let the process of greiving run its course.

While I do this, I am trying to focus on the fact that throughout her life she was quietly building her own legacy. What a legacy it was! She touched so many lives, so many more than many of us who knew her well realized. I think in some ways Margaret touched lives that even Margaret didn’t know she was touching.

Her legacy? Service. Quiet service. She never did anything grandiose or spectacular. She simply gave through random acts of kindness. It never even had to be an actual gift or physical thing. Simply that she randomly was kind and giving. She always knew when to be where she needed to be in order to give the gift that would touch that life forever. Whether it be through the phone call, the cards, the inquiring on how you are doing and actually listening to you tell the same old story…again, or simply being there…it was through these things that Margaret built that legacy.

In her own way, Margaret built a legacy of Christ-like love, charity, and service. She wasn’t perfect, but she was inspired to touch the lives of everyone around her. We should all strive to stand a little taller and walk a little straighter. We should all strive to follow in her foot-steps if only in this category. We should give of ourselves without restraint a little more each day. Those random acts of kindness touch lives. How rewarded could we all be if we too touched lives the way that Margaret did?

Anyway, I just wanted to share the things that are in my heart and why I didn’t get around to posting the pictures right away. It was partly upon reflection of these pictures and the events and happenings surrounding them that made them difficult to post immediately. What we didn’t know then was just how Margaret would be remembered for the rest of our own lives.

May everyone who aches from the loss of this dear friend and family member be blessed. May they be comforted by the love and hand of the Almighty God. May they find the strength to live a Christ-like life and endure to the end until their own lot in life be over. May God be with each of those who were touched by Margaret “until we meet again.”

These are happy memories, so I will still share them. We had our whole world and lives ahead of us. Some of us still do…it is our responsibility to live it to the fullest…to soar on eagle’s wings!

Eisenhower High School Awards Night 1994

Left to right: Michael Ramirez (class of 1994), Linh Ngo (class of 1994), Jeff Cook (class of 1993), ME – Stacey Hellewell (class of 1994), Jarod Lambert (class of 1994), May Maclan (class of 1994), Amit Kamdar (class of 1994), Robinson Vu (class of 1995), Matt Lacey (class of 1995), Margaret Goins (class of 1994), and Eddie Vaughn (class of 1995)

Eisenhower High School Awards Night 1994

Margaret Goins (valedictorian) and ME – Stacey Hellewell (#37)

So when life gets you down, remember what the ones who have gone before you would want you to do. Remember the way that they would want you to be if they were still here. Remember the things that they did in their lives and find ways to build or improve your own legacy. Pick your chin up and remember the good times. Find the reminders that will help you remember those and over time the not so great times will fade. Over time, the frowns will fade to smiles…the tears of pain and sorrow will dry and turn to tears of joy and happiness.

As for me? I’m going to dry the tears one more time and pick up the knitting needles for a little while. I’m going to reflect by doing…

I’ve got other pictures. I’ll post them a few at a time when I need to reflect some more.

1 Comment

  1. You're so right – it's the little things you do that remind you of someone you've lost. Hugs to you – and to her family. Cherish your memories with and of her … 🙂 D

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