Ten years. This is an anniversary that seemed so far away. I was starting my senior year of high school when she died and now I am about to send my oldest child to first grade. Time has been frustrating me recently. Time is so unforgiving and relentless. Its characteristics are consistent to every individual but the usage of that time varies so widely. Time doesn't care about intentions or outcomes. It just ticks on.

Sometimes I feel like I am very far away from myself. I am not where I thought I would be and I am not where I think I could be. It's an odd kind of feeling. It is an anxiety-inducing feeling. It is a feeling of not being enough; it is a feeling that something about me needs to change to please someone else. I have been struggling with feeling like anything I am doing is successful or making any sort of difference.

When I think of Rachael I remember that even inconsequential things can have a big impact on others. It makes me wonder what kind of wake I am leaving behind me. Am I drowning the people around me or leaving a wake of love? It has been ten years since Rachael has walked on the earth but it has been minutes since the impact of her life and death have been seen in my life.

The memory is vague now (as are so many of my memories), but when I was back in college, I was worrying to Michelle that I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. She laughed and said I sounded like Rachael. I think of my sister Rachael often, but especially on January 22nd and August 19th. Although those dates have become so significant me, there are so many other days where important things are happening and I need to focus on those things, embrace them, and look for more ways to share love. To conclude an email my Dad wrote to one of my brothers on his mission he wrote, "Hope you are feeling loved by many and loving all." How often I am mixing around this equation. I don't want to cry for a wasted day. 

While writing this, I was interrupted by a phone call from Michelle. We talked for almost two hours. We laughed at funny things and we pity-laughed at our sad things. I am so grateful for family. I am grateful for these people who are forced to be my friends because we were birthed by the same Mom. I think about Rachael and I remember her smile and it makes me smile. That's a pretty good wake she left behind. I hope to add my wake to hers and one day join the Apostle Paul in saying, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."


Katie said...

You make a difference in my life! That probably doesn't mean much, but it's true! I think you're amazing!

Matthew & Laura said...

This was beautifully written Emily. Love you.

Jared Neil said...

The funny thing about time is that the only thing that slows it down is moving faster. Not figuratively, that's literally how the physics works. Your total speed through space-time is constant (the speed of light), so by moving faster through space you move slower through time.
I feel like that could be used as the basis for lots of good metaphors.
Okay, now that my random thought is out you can carry on with your day.

Andrea said...

I sure love you. Even though Matt and I are the same age, i have developed this sense of gratitude for YOU. You have made quite the impact on my life Em. You are a shining pillar of strength and I'm glad to know you. I'd say your wake is pretty decent :) Smile today--i know Rachael is.

Shelbey said...

You make everyone around you feel loved, and that is a hugely significant achievement. I'm grateful for Rachael even though I never met her because she helped you and your siblings to become awesome people.

Olivia said...

I know I've said this before, but you truly have no idea how wide your wake of love is. Befriending you was the difference between dark and light for me here in ND. I would not be in the places I am now--spiritually and mentally--without you. I KNOW you will continue to feel and see Rachael's influence throughout the rest of your life and beyond. I love you!

Carissa and Tanner said...

I second the previous comments. Your wake of love is huge and I don't think anyone has ever made me feel more loved and important and special and worth it and enough. You sure give so much of yourself and you should give yourself more credit and realize that you are enough and I know you are doing your best and not wasting your days! No matter what activities do or don't fill them. Love you so much friend. Such a wise and thoughtful and inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

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