On Wednesday morning I was outside with my sweet dog, Penelope the Great, and my phone. Penely, as I like to call her, was busy chasing lizards around our yard and taking care of her very ladylike business on our hot and fake grass. I had taken my mug of coffee outside and settled in with my phone for a nice long sit. The weather was mild, Penely was happy and all was right with the world. I sent a text to a friend letting her know that I love her and was thinking about her. Then I sent another one to another friend along the same vein. Then another. And I was having so much fun with that I sent another. With each text of love I sent I could feel myself getting happier and happier. And I'm already a pretty darn happy camper. I thought, "I'm going to text ALL of my friends and let them know I'm thinking about them and I love them!"
I ended up in two wonderful chat conversations with beloved friends and was just super happy.
So, there I was texting away and feeling my serotonin levels rising like a hot air balloon on a sunny day, when IT happened. I sent a text to my friend René wishing him a beautiful day and this was the reply I got, "Listen, I have terrible news. Will text shortly."
And I knew.
I knew without a shadow of a doubt what the news was.
I don't know how or why I knew - for heaven's sake it could have been ANYTHING.
But, I knew.
I said out loud to no one and to the whole world, "Joey's dead."
And moments later I was part of a group text in which René told us that our beloved childhood friend Joe, had in fact, taken his life the night before.
I was plunged from my high, high, happy mood into such sadness, it's unspeakable.
"Why, why, why?" kept running like a chant through my head. He has so much to live for. A gorgeous wife, two beautiful children, a daughter-in-law, sisters, parents and friends! Why?
It's not for me to know. It's none of my business, quite frankly.
As I sat on my couch in the living room the most amazing thing happened; one of the four of us on the group text message, made a group message on Facebook and started adding in all of our childhood friends. There are over 40 of us in that chat. We talked about how sad and how tragic for his family and we started sharing photos of him and fond memories. And we picked up the phone and called each other. And we wanted each other to know that we were there for us, that we were committed to loving each other. I personally re-committed "I've got your back" to friends that I don't speak to often, but love beyond any measure on this earth. And for the last two days we have been active on that chat, making plans for a memorial brick and trying to find the best way to get funds to the family if they want them.
It's been an outpouring of love the likes of which I have never been a part. We loved Joe. And we love each other. And we mean it.
I spent the day sad and sobbing. I also talked with a friend with whom I laughed for almost two hours, because boy did I need that.
And then another amazing thing happened. As I was getting ready to go to bed early - spent - my phone started dinging. And wouldn't you know it, I was getting love messages back from those people that I had texted in the morning. Most of them probably didn't even know what HELL my day had been, but here I was being DELUGED with LOVE from all over. It was the best and most amazing thing that I've ever experienced.
So, here is what I know about love. Love is a boomerang. And the more you send away, the more comes back. Just exactly when you didn't even know you most needed it.