Two years and six days ago, I wrote this:

I said goodbye to my friend last night. What a gallant fight she’s fought. The last ravages of her disease are quietly laying claim to her tired body, and she’s now only about the business of relationship. I was fully in the moment, quietly observing the dynamic of the room full of women I love, these women who have walked a long road of years together. Our care for her, for each other, as we let this particular beat of our heart go on, was breathtaking. When I pulled up to the house, I was astonished when John Mayer’s “Say What You Need to Say” came on the radio. I sat there for a moment, listening, knowing that we indeed would say those words that needed saying. And we did, each in turn, in our own way, giving her our final gifts on this side of heaven. You know, we come into this world, greeted by those who love us the most. It’s relationship then, and at the very end of this life, it’s relationship again. The thing is, it’s supposed to be relationship all the way through, but we lose sight of that somehow in the midst of the everyday. Don’t. That’s what I’m telling you today. Say what you need to say. Every single day of this life, live, and love, and revel in your people. Don’t miss a second.

Two years ago, today, that friend was healed in heaven. And those women? We all gathered on the stage of the church where her life was celebrated and remembered, through tears, all the joy and laughter our friend, Diane, had brought into our lives.We’re gathering, again, tonight. To laugh. To remember. To enjoy each other. Because that’s what Diane would’ve wanted.

Because that’s what God always wants.

Live, love, and revel in your people. Don’t miss a second.

In memory of Diane Cox Nichols. 1963-2013

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3 KJV

“Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.” John 13:34 MSG