If ever there were a beautiful image that will remain in my heart and mind forever, it will be this one: the last photo taken by a daughter or her parents before they tragically passed in a car accident. Ledell, my sweet friend, was perhaps one of the kindest, gentlest souls I had ever known. A teacher, musician, mother, daughter, sister, spiritual advisor, activist and friend to so many. Her daughter, Kat, was only 30 and just beginning to blossom as a creative artist. Don, Ledell’s warm and wonderful husband and Kat’s dad, survived the accident and held on for over a month with their only son Devan, his girlfriend Lucy and a tribe of love ones standing vigil. This photo was posted with the news of Don’s passing. I stared at it for a long time. First with weeping and then with calm.
For all of us who knew them, there is no doubt that Don and Ledell were fully present in that moment, taking in the amazing beauty of the water and sunlight. I know, in that moment, they felt their love of each other and perhaps the presence of their God. No doubt, Kat felt that, too, to be moved to capture it. How grateful I am that Devan shared this moment with us. I feel honored and compelled to share it with you.
This lake was their Lake. Silver Lake. A place where they shared their creative ministry with so many others. Like all lakes, it was formed by an ocean that became a river that flowed into a stream that became a creek that fed a brook that filled tributaries to join together into a lake – which in turn flowed with all its twists and turns back to the ocean. I won’t be the first or last to use this metaphor, but as I struggle to understand this tragedy, I find peace in my belief that our lives are like rivers: endless, ever changing, moving in natural directions, changing forms, some times calm, some times turbulent. We flow apart. We join together. There is no beginning, no middle, no end.
I pray that Devan and Lucy will find peaceful waters to rest their boat upon. That Don, Ledell and Kat have returned to their Source and are together again. To all of you – who take the time from your lives to flow by this blog from time to time, I thank you for your grace. Until we meet, or meet again.