One of my writing goals for March is to focus more on my blog. The intensity of February stripped me of my desire to share my life online. But it’s March now, and the most horrible month of the year is behind me, and it’s time to jump back into it.
I left Florida on February 5 and spent the night in North Carolina with a blogger friend, Striped Pineapple, whom I’d never me IRL. She showed me all the small town sights…the secret garden, the secret Christmas tree disposal area, the lonely architect who was secretly in love with her roommate…there were lots of secrets, actually.
(Okay, the architect bit is a joke. No one sue me for defamation, please.)
The next day, Wednesday February 6, I drove up to Myerstown PA. My friend Rachelle and her roommate were waiting for me, a bed set up in their spare room/library. Yes, I get to sleep every night in a room full of books. Glorious. Although the books themselves are a bit depressing for my taste, haha.
My new roommates have both spent considerable time on the mission field and are up to date on current events and world news, so they’re fascinating to converse with.
Despite these perks, my time in Pennsylvania so far has not been particularly great. There’s nothing wrong with the state itself, as far as I know. But since I’ve arrived, it seems like so many awful tragic things have happened to people I love. Accidents, breakups, brain surgeries, etc.
The worst thing of all happened one week ago, when Ian Gingerich was killed suddenly in a car crash.
I didn’t really know Ian. I knew who he was because I was close to many of his extended family members, and upon moving to PA, he was #1 on my “people I want to get to know” list. Two weeks ago, a week before Ian’s death, I sat by him in church and was very excited at this chance to converse with him.
We had a good conversation, but I do recall thinking that it would take a bit of time to actually get to know Ian, as he was quite introverted.
Maybe this is irrelevant. While people are alive, we don’t fixate so much on how well we know people, because it feels fluid. We can always get to know them better, or drift apart, as we wish. But when they’re gone, it’s fixed in stone. Not only did I not know Ian, but I will never know Ian this side of Heaven.
The real awfulness of this week was watching the grief and pain of Ian’s immediate and extended family, who were all very close to each other. If you’ve read my blog for a while you’ve heard me frequently mention Esta, and Janessa. I’ve also talked some about my friend Kayla Kuepfer, both when we were friends at SMBI back in the day, and when she came to Oregon for a year. Esta, Janessa, and Kayla are all cousins or cousins-in-law to Ian, and it was hard to watch their intense pain.
I don’t even know how to talk about this week. It was just so awful. But then, strangely, I feel like I know what love looks like…what connection looks like…what closeness looks like…in a way I never quite did before. Ian loved his family, and his family loved him, in a way that was truly breathtaking.
I still have a few more weeks left in Pennsylvania. I don’t know how I’ll be filling those days.
But for today, I’ll watch the snow, and rest.