I swear that death typically doesn’t consume my thoughts most of the time.  The past week has just been a really tough one in that aspect.  Last week, with the suicide of my sister’s old friend, Amanda.  This week, with the suicide of teen blogger, Jamey Rodemeyer.  Tonight I learned that my friend Joda, who I worked with at TGIFriday’s in Asheville several years ago, passed away yesterday.  I guess it was only about a year or less ago, when my friend and I went to visit him at Friday’s.  He was complaining of a strange pain, and we both urged him to see a doctor.  I was moving out of town, but my friend assured me that she’d stay on top of him to get it checked out.  Not long after, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  Then tonight, Troy Davis, a man convicted of the 1989 murder of an off duty police officer was put to death, after many desperate attempts to save his life since new evidence and witness recants seemed to disprove his guilt.  I’ve been sitting alone tonight, frustrated and in tears.  I almost feel like the world is losing its angels in rapid succession.  I clicked on a friend’s link, that led me to a site about tribute tattoos.  Then I started reading about the woman they are a tribute to…  Her name is Sara, and she is a fellow blogger.  Her blog inspired hope in many people, and the tattoo tributes said simply “choose joy.”  I read about the tributes, and a little about Sara.  I don’t know much, but I’m certainly interested from what I’ve seen, in reading more of her blog.  The past few entries have been written by someone named Shannon, who is updating on Sara’s worsening physical condition, with the theme of “choose joy” remaining throughout.  I’m leaving early in the morning to head to the mountains, so that I may attend Joda’s memorial service.  I even considered leaving tonight and going to watch the sun rise on the parkway alone.  It is so still, so calm up there, that it feels like the world just stops and you can finally get a chance to breathe.  I definitely need a chance to breathe right now.

Tonight, I’ve felt a consistent twinge of heartache for the losses of the past week, but when I really thought of Joda, and I could hear his voice, it made me smile every time.  Tonight, I’m praying for everyone and their losses, that Amanda has found peace and her family starts to heal… That Jamey’s life and death, can open our eyes, and drastically change the way we deal with bullying… That Troy’s family and friends can find solace in the hope that he has gone somewhere far more just than this world, somewhere in which truth is pursued and upheld.  I pray Joda is in heaven, clad in white, dancing and singing… happy as can be.  I hope Sara transitions smoothly, and that her message spreads far, like ripples atop oceans, reaching from from distant shore to distant shore.

“The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand;

the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.”  

~George Elliot