“You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”
He was my Peter Pan – a giant kid who never wanted to grow up. Always on the move, a big impossible idea, a grand adventure! It was exhausting at times, trying to reel in his passions, but I realize now that I shouldn’t have bothered trying. Michael Bell lived every day as if it was his last. I know it sounds cliche, but he did – he didn’t want to miss out on anything, and he didn’t miss much. And as the anniversary of his passing quickly approaches, I keep thinking that this will be some magical day that will end the sorrow, the loneliness, the missing my house filled with laughter and that booming voice. But the day after, it will still be the same quietness. Today I realized that if I don’t go grab at life like he did, it will pass me by. I can’t bring back what we were, I can only move ahead and make new adventures. And he will be there – he always is. It will be hard as hell and difficult and shitty and lonely at times, but it is the only way to get to the good stuff. It’s what he would want for me – always wanted for me. He would grab me by the hand, plant a kiss on my cheek and tell me to go pack my bag – we have so much still to see . . . “oh, the places we’ll go!” And after you get past the scary, shitty bits – you will soar!
In the photo above, we are standing at Ephesus in Turkey. Three times we made that trip, each one a completely different experience. We hiked to the top of the amphitheater one time and we dined by candlelight and an orchestra another time at that very same spot. The most compelling draw to that place was to stand where St. Paul stood and preached to the Ephesians. He bravely evangelized and proclaimed the truth to crowds numbering 25,000. My husband was an evangelizer – he would tell anyone who would listen (and even those who would not) all about our Savior and how He loves us and forgives us – no matter what. And for the past year, the scripture passage below has brought me great comfort:
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
So, my Peter Pan, I will pick up where you left off – being brave and bold and having a grand adventure in your honor. I don’t know where it will take me, but I know that you will be there beside me. I love you forever, Michael – always in that place in between waking and dreaming, I’ll meet you there.
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