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When life feels good, being kind and generous in spirit come easy--not so easy when my heart is heavy. But an email I received from a reader at the book club, has inspired me to strive for something greater.
"Dear Suzanne, I just had to write you and tell you my story:
My daughter Brie loves to read and write. About six months ago she sent me the link to your book club and I joined. It has provided a common topic for us to have conversations together. When she was home with the family for Christmas, we had some interesting conversations about the current book we were reading. Brie has two little girls and is 29 weeks pregnant with her first son.
On Sunday morning, the day after Christmas, she was at church with us and our worship leader taught us a new song called, 'Forever Reign' by Hillsong. Brie was so impressed with the song that at two o'clock that afternoon she posted the lyrics on her blog.
"I'm running to your arms The riches of your love Will always be enough..."
At 6:30 that night as Brie and her husband were headed back to their home, another car veered into their lane and ran into them head-on, killing my daughter Brie. They were able to save her son Curran by emergency C-section. Five hours after posting the song, she was indeed running into His arms.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you Suzanne, for your book club and the bond it helped to strengthen between Brie and myself."-- Tom
Dear Tom, I am so very sorry. The measure of a person, their true personality and beliefs, shine through even when faced with tragedy. Taking the time to share about you and your daughter's special connection through the book club--what a generous gift you are giving to me in the midst of your loss. Thank you.
Grieving is hard work and a long, lonely, journey. After my mother died a close friend of mine gave me permission to grieve for as long as it took. I needed to hear those words because I was frightened--afraid that I'd never find my way back. "Grieve as long as you need, Tom." May the love of your family and friends, and the remembrances of your wonderful daughter Brie, fill your heart, hold you up, and give you peace.
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
* This month's Penguin Classics book is THE LEAVENWORTH CASE by Anna Katharine Green. Start reading now and enter to win a Penguin totebag. Go to: https://tinyurl.com/January11Classics