Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Celebrating A Life

Ever since my girlfriend Candace passed away last August, I have struggled with the questions of "WHY?" Why her? Why that moment? Why now? Why, Why, Why?? This past weekend would have been Candace's 32nd birthday. On Saturday, Joanna and I put a mylar "Happy Birthday" balloon at the site of her accident. When we were on PCH, tieing the balloon on the parking meter, we saw about 30 bikers race past - three and four wide - riding in the bike lane and out onto the road. These bikers ride every weekend like this - and no one has hit them in this spot. And here was Candace - riding her bike on the sidewalk - and she was hit. It just makes no sense!

What I have had to come to accept is that Candace's death will probably never make sense. This random, circumstantial suffering, as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, can not simply be explained away. Some things are just circumstantial, and there is no point in looking for a reason for them. I've also accepted that (while I think this part stinks!) God does not intervene to save good people from disaster or disease, and does not send these misfortunes to punish the bad. There is no moral judgment involved.

So rather than get lost in the "Whys" I have decided to do my best at celebrating the "Becauses." Because she was beautiful. Because she was fun. Because she could always make me laugh. Because she was fearless in many ways. Because she was humble and hardworking. Because she was a great friend who always remembered my birthday. Because she was never worried about doing or saying the "wrong" thing. Because she assured me that every mother second guesses themselves. Because she was always quick to listen and slow to judge. Because she loved being silly and brought that out in others. Because she was a young wife and mother like me. Because she loved her husband and son so much. Because there was still so much for her to do.

Because of all these things that you were Candace, I will do my best to be them too. And celebrate the short, but beautifully full and meaningful life you lived. While I miss you on a daily basis, I realize that you may not be physically here today - but your spirit is alive and inspiring. Happy Birthday to You!
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