This cross has all five stones in it. It has two garnet stones rather than just one, which seems appropriate to represent the blood of Jesus. I wear this cross all the time as a symbol of my faith and as a symbol of the love of my family as well.
I woke up in the middle of one night, clutching this cross. No, it's not any kind of "good luck" charm, nor does what I wear around my neck protect me from anything. It's a symbol ... much like a wedding ring is a symbol of love and not love itself. However, I was disturbed and upset that night and to wake up clutching that cross communicated to me that my faith is pretty much all that I have that is constant. I don't understand everything that is happening around me but I have to believe that God's love for me and the world is real because, quite frankly, there's nothing else left to depend upon. Everything else is just temporary.
It's been a difficult week. Bryant died on August 19 and I still find that hard to comprehend. I cry whenever I think of him and I miss him so very much. I was such a small part of his life ... we didn't really know each other very long ... but our friendship was a sweet friendship. Because we had cancer in common, we shared many experiences and our age difference disappeared. (I am 24 years older than Bryant.) One day, as we walked together, I mentioned something about being an adult in the mid-80s and he literally stopped walking and exclaimed, "You were NOT an adult in 1985!" I was 22 in that year and Bryant just laughed and laughed at that. He said that he just didn't think of me as being that much older than him. That's a fun memory for me.
But now he's gone. Forever 27. He never responded well to his cancer treatments and the disease marched relentlessly forward. I'm responding well to treatments and I don't know why. It's hard to enjoy my reasonably good health when Bryant is gone.
And so I both figuratively and literally clutch at the cross. That's all that's left. At the end of the day ... at the end of treatments ... at the end of life ... when all has been stripped away ... there has to be more. There just has to be. This CAN'T be all there is.
I choose to believe there is eternal life. I place my trust at the foot of the cross that all this has meaning and purpose. That no matter how much pain (emotional and physical), that there is more.
I don't have the words or the eloquence to express all that is flooding out of my soul right now. But I will see Bryant again. And Janie. And Debbie. Three beloveds lost in the month of August in different years.
Because there's more than this life.