The Internet is a funny thing. I've made the most amazing friends on Facebook and Twitter in the last few years. Friends I miss when I haven't chatted to them for a day or two, friends who are there when I need them, friends who give cyber trolls a verbal beating on my behalf. Friends I have never met. And most probably never will.
One of these friends is Lisa-Marie. Lisa's husband passed away suddenly, and very unexpectedly recently, leaving everyone devastated. I've never met Lisa but through similar situations, we're kindred spirits.
The last few days Lisa has been on my mind constantly. I try and understand what she must be going through. My heart physically aches when I think of her and her little girl. I look at the photos she puts up on Facebook and I feel angry and sad and pissed off for her.
Last week she posted that she'd love for friends to phone or message her. So I popped her a message asking for her number, and double checking whether it would be okay for me to call or message. And she responded immediately with 'I'd love that!' Since then I've called once but whatsapped a few times. Our chats vary but are often just Lisa and I throwing profanities back and forth, leaving cyber space a little blue.
Tomorrow it's the love of her life's memorial service and I wish I was there. I don't know why. I just do.
There's nothing I could say or do that will make her pain go away. There are no words that'll comfort her at this time, or for a while to come. I might be able to make her smile for a minute with a silly message or emoticon but it will only be for a minute.
But what I'm wishing for Lisa tonigh, tomorrow and for as long as she needs it is the mist I once felt at the shelter. I've blogged about it before so I'll quickly recap. It was the weekend of 67 minutes of kindness and the shelter was packed with people dropping off items, spending 67 minutes with the babies and playing with the older kiddies. I was there visiting Emma and 'shooing' anyone away who wanted to hold her.
As the morning got busier, with more and more people in and out, I moved to a quieter area with my daughter. And that's when I saw the mist. I checked to make sure it wasn't condensation from the washing machine or tumble dryer. I sniffed around to make sure it wasn't smoke. There was nothing. Except this mist. And then I asked Eleanor, who runs the shelter, what it was.
Now trust me , I'm not a religious person. And had anyone else told me this, I would have poo-pooed them. But I was there. I felt it and I saw it.
"The mist", Eleanor explained, "appears often. It's here when there are a lot of people, or when one of the babies are very sick. The mist is also here when a new baby arrives, whether through the moses basket or with a social worker. It's like Jesus is here. He's the mist. It's comforting and we feel like we're getting one big hug, all embracing, all the time. The kiddies, when they see it, even shout out, Jesus is here! "
So Lisa I'm sending you the mist. I'm sending you the comfort and serenity I felt in that moment. I'm sending you that huge all loving, all embracing hug.