Love lives on

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

This past Saturday, I didnít have any plans. It was the first time in a while thatís been true. I figured Iíd sleep in and catch up on some TV. Mostly, I planned to watch it rain with the cat, who loves staring out the window on overcast days. Thatís one thing we have in common.

I woke up earlier than expected and checked my phone, because Iím a slave to technology. I had a new message from my late friend Melodyís sister, Crystal, asking if I wanted to go on a hike to see some waterfalls. Of course I did. Who doesnít like spending the day near a waterfall?

We met a couple hours later on Rock House Road, and I followed her to a parking spot nearby. It wasnít long before we were traipsing through wet leaves and mud, dodging a bunch of tree stumps along the way. Iím not sure how long it took us to reach the first waterfall. Time flies when youíre having fun.

We ended up cutting across the creek to reach that one, deviating a little from the trail. Sometimes youíve got to make your own path, you know? It started to sprinkle a bit when we left that area, so Crystal loaned me Melodyís rain jacket. When I slipped the hood on, I thought of all the times my dear friend must have worn it.

ďThis will make the rain stop!Ē Crystal proclaimed.

It did. By the time we made it to the tallest waterfall, the sun began to peek out a bit. We sat by a tree and split a cheese sandwich, listening to the sound of the water showering next to us. We must have been there for an hour or longer talking about Melody, rehashing more good memories than I can count.

We also spoke of the grief weíve been experiencing since Melody left last Thanksgiving. Grief is a funny thing. Though it stays with you for a long time, youíre expected to move on and pretend everything is back to normal. That just doesnít happen. Nothing is normal anymore. Thereís a new normal without Melody, but itís certainly less vibrant than the time we spent with her.

Adjusting to the world without her is exhausting. Nobody understands that better than those who knew and loved her. I canít express how comforted I felt being able to talk about the yucky parts of grief with someone who understood it. Underneath that waterfall, I didnít feel any judgment for the sadness Iím still feeling.

I felt surrounded by love and warmth, like those days Iíd sit at the river with Melody and the sun would beat down on us and weíd talk about whatever happened to be on our minds. As we remembered Melody, a gust of wind sent some leaves circling in front of us. Melody always said she felt spirits in the wind. In that moment, we felt hers.

Thereís something special about two people sharing their love for someone who isnít here anymore. It helped me remember that love never dies. People do, but their love remains.

More importantly, our love for them remains.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.