Rain covered the forget-me-nots, growing in the backyard, like tears.
I was up early, before dawn and awake long before that, last Saturday.
Why is the dark of night such a prime time to wrestle thoughts and swat fear? You know, the stuff I mentioned in the previous post.
In the darkness, thoughts and fear sneak in and grab you like a monster from under the bed, crouching and waiting to catch you unaware. The thoughts spin you around. And if you aren’t careful and on guard, your thoughts can make you think that all the evidence is real.
False Evidence Appearing Real
When I was a kid if I woke up feeling and acting grumpy, I remember Mother and Daddy saying that I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed with the Mullygrubs. I’m still not sure who the Mullygrubs are, but Mother and Daddy always gave me the “invitation” to go back to bed and get up on the right side of the bed without them. This is better known as girl-change-your-attitude-now-psychology.
So mornings are typically very quiet at our house as we sort our thoughts and prepare for the day.
Saturday morning we left the house early in the darkness and though I don’t cry often, I carried my emotions from the night right into the day. In the darkness the tears that flooded my thoughts, spilled from my eyes and slid down my cheeks.
Philip, always my encourager, didn’t stop the car or take me in his arms and twirl my brown curls around his index finger as he looked in my eyes. No he didn’t do any of that. But he did ever so gently remind me that this was our path and our story and we were the only ones who can walk it or write it.
That’s what he did. That’s what he said.
And he did buy me a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks… so there’s that. ?
I sniffled my tears right back up my nose and tapped them down just a little tighter inside. I squared my shoulders and with brown curls that looked ready for a rocket launch, I walked inside the office and said “good morning” to all the prom dresses.
They didn’t even ask me if I got up with the Mullygrubs. They didn’t even give me the girl-change-your-attitude-now look. I mean, I didn’t have a bad attitude. I’d just let life chip away at my worth.
The first girl came to pick up her dress with her mother and little sister and those tears that I thought I had tapped so tightly back down all safe and snug inside, slid down my cheeks and dripped out my nose.
And I told the girl and her little sister and their pretty mommy how I’d been thinking about The Mother Mary all week.
And I told them how it broke my heart to think of how JESUS was brutally murdered while she looked on helplessly… her priceless treasure…THE priceless treasure, in agony and she could do nothing.
And I told them they were treasures too and that life would try to convince them that they weren’t. And I told them that they needed to always always always remember their worth, never forget their worth.
And I told them that life had tried to convince me that I have no worth either but we have to remember, no matter what, that each and everyone of us has value.
And the rain began to pour.
And the overcast gloom of the day settled deeper.
And the forget-me-nots shuddered under the rain, like sobs.
And the girls and their pretty mommy left.
And I sniffled tears right back up my nose…
…because I had to tell another prom dress goodbye
and get ready for a noon appointment.
And my phone buzzed.
And the voice said, “Jasmine’s dead.”
And my heart broke.
Because in an emotional moment, I’m afraid that Jasmine forgot she was a priceless treasure. I’m afraid she let life chip away at the vision of her worth. And the forget-me-knots cried.
Yes, that’s when the forget-me-knots cried. When Jasmine forgot that she was a priceless treasure.
Jasmine is my great niece. She is my niece’s daughter. She fell from a van traveling on the Interstate last Saturday in the early morning darkness. Most likely she didn’t realize the lasting consequences of this one action.
All week we’ve talked about Jasmine, and Tiffany said, “I wonder if she realized what an impact she would have on everyone and how far this story would reach?”
And that’s just the thing, life will try to convince us we don’t matter, that we aren’t having an impact, that our lives aren’t useful, that we don’t have value, that if we aren’t like Natalie Harper (whoever she is) then we aren’t good enough or pretty enough or skinny enough or funny enough… but we are…
We are a treasure. A PRICELESS TREASURE.
Don’t ever forget…
Forget-me-nots shouldn’t have to cry.
Jasmine Kay Rain Phelps
Beautiful, Priceless, Treasure
January 17, 2002 – April 20, 2019