Snow white skin and hair,
pale pink lipstick and finger nails,
bows in her french braid and a big Cindy smile on her face.
That was who greeted me on the High School bus every morning in late High School. She had been a part of our lives since we were little. Going to Sunday School with us, elementary school and visiting with my older sister many times. All they would do is laugh. Two insecure, shy little gigglers. Putting away the monumental stresses of a typical school child and just laughing. I had no idea what could be so funny for so long, but it didn't matter, now, as a mother of a little girl, can I really understand the joy that fills a home with such laughter.
My hour long bus rides every morning to school years later were met with the same subtle giggles. She looked picture perfect at 7:30am. Evidence of early morning care taken. By the end of a long High School day, her french braid was falling out, the lipstick had worn well off and the hair bow was crooked...but the smile was just as bright. The stories of the day brought more laughter, even if the events were not good. She had a way of turning everything into a giggle, a joke or a small hurdle in her life race. It was a happy hour. My half empty cup seemed a little fuller after riding home with her, or at least her presence made it seem like sparkling grape juice instead of tasteless water.
Laughter. That's what I remember most. She was kind and gentle. If she ever raised her voice it was always punctuated with a largely dimpled smile and snicker...pretending to be mad. No negative thing ever seemed to matter much and I needed that at that time. Light-hearted laughter. Sweet Cindy.
No words can really articulate the tragedy of her passing.The world needs more gentleness and laughter. It has a little less of that today. My prayer is that her 4 children and their children may inherit her bubbly, positive, loving ways. Injustice saturates the air and questioning reigns. I have to trust that the Almighty knows what He is doing and has "the whole world in His hands", even a small east coast city...covered in cold, empty snow when it should be Spring. It just seems wrong in every way. There should be flowers, grass, sunshine and singing birds...but they are just not there. The past cannot be changed, the present is painful and the future is waiting for our reaction.
Cindy faced problems much bigger than her own fragile soul. She worked very hard to overcome them and did what she did best...she loved and laughed. May we muster up the energy to do the same on a bitter cold day. We all know it should look different out our window today, but there it is...cold covering everything. Where is the joy, beauty and warmth? It's coming. You can be sure it is coming. Not because I insist, but because Someone more powerful than death itself rules this universe and he will have the final say...in everything. Spring will come. Joy will come. Love, laugh, look to Him and trust in word and deed while you wait.
"Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him."