An unapologetic ‘yes’ to life.

It’s easy to see the wisdom gained from a long life.  Years combine with experience to produce a unique clarity that only living can teach you.  I have learned extraordinary lessons from the elders in my life, but when you love someone who knows that they will probably die young (no matter how much you hope they won’t) there are other lessons, and a different kind of wisdom can be gained.

I really don’t want to be maudlin.  My friend passed away from liver failure caused by something she was born with.  She had her first transplant as a teenager, so in a way, any time after that first transplant was simply a bonus round.  I think she knew this, too.

Lacey didn’t wait for joy.  That’s probably the biggest lesson.  C and I would sometimes talk about how impatient Lacey was.  And she was.  Impatient for life, for love, for experience.  She was the ultimate impulse buyer.  Why wait?  When you know that your time is limited, patience is no longer a virtue.  Can everyone live like that? No, but maybe even those of us planning for long life could learn a little impatience when life presents us with an opportunity.

Unbridled enthusiasm is nothing to scoff at.  Lacey was an unapologetic fangirl.  She adored Disney, especially anything vintage.  She jumped up and down for her favorite bands.  She sobbed (not lying) when the original Star Tours closed down at Disneyland because she was convinced that no update could beat the original.  Her tumblr dashboard was filled with pugs in funny costumes.  Why?  Because she loved pugs.  In costumes.  What’s to explain?  She tattooed her skin, marking her tiny body with the things she loved in life, affixing them as permanently as she could.  She gave no heed to those of us trying to be “cool.”  Why would she?  She didn’t have time for detachment.

She was quick to forgive.  As quickly as she would get angry at someone, she was just as quick to forgive when the person was sincere.  When I asked her once why she was so willing to reconcile with someone who had been absent from her life, she only had one answer.  “Because I’m dying.”  Well, as much as we hoped she was wrong, she wasn’t.  She forgave him, and I hope he has some peace about their relationship.

In the end, we’re all dying.  I may have another sixty years, or I may have sixty minutes.  If I have learned anything in my thirty-four years, it’s that life is unexpected.  So maybe when I ask myself whether something is worth the wait, whether it’s worth my energy, whether someone is worth my forgiveness, I’ll give the same answer as Lacey did.  An unapologetic ‘yes’ to life.

Because we’re all dying.  Some of us just have more time than she did.

Posted in Life, Random, Uncategorized.

17 Comments

  1. This was lovely. It’s both awful and a blessing that we are so often forced to rethink our attitudes in the face of grief. On one hand, there’s the pain of loss, but on the other there’s an almost inmate need to ensure the passing of a loved one wasn’t for nothing. So we tuck away the lessons we can, the important bits and we go on, because we are lucky every day that we’re granted the opportunity.

  2. This is so eloquent. And freeing. I admired Lacey’s passion for life. Thank you for writing this message. This is the first time I’ve gotten to read your prose and it is very impressive….

  3. so accurate. thanks for writing this. i hope you’re doing okay, corey too. i’m stef – from the bright eyes shows, the wedding, the one who moved to nor cal. not sure if we met or if you knew of me, but that’s me. lace’s one of my best friends. i miss her. thanks again for writing this. i hope you guys are getting through okay. <3

  4. That was soooo eloquent and truly captured Lacey’s spirit…and very inspiring that life is just absolutely precious and that every moment should be spent as Lacey did – thank you for this beautiful prose and your extraordinary talent of expression!

  5. People often wonder why God would allow this to happen. I have only know Lacy a short time and from of and on meetings at Disney. But one thing I do know is that the impact she had on anyone she met was honest. And from what everyone on here has said love must have been part of her as well. So when you ask why, I say look back and know that all that God does is good and what she gave each one of us was good as well. This was the gift that God gave her to give us.

  6. Thank you for writing this. Reading it on her Birthday means more. I miss you dear friend and I hope you are all doing well. I am so proud of you and all that you have done. Thank you for this beautifully written tribute to our dear friend.

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