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There must be a hundred quotes about life being made up of small moments, and service and love and meaning being found in those small, deceptively mundane moments. It’s so cliché, so repeated, probably because it’s one of life’s greatest discoveries.

Tragedy may happen in a dramatic moment, but never a singular moment. The catastrophes of life are nestled between a thousand moments of mundane grief, pain, joy, suffering, tears, sleeping, responsibilities, breathing, eating, waiting, waiting, waiting, dishes and sweeping floors and driving to appointments.

And our lives are nestled between each other’s: your joy touching my pain, your loss edging my gain, your laughter brushing against my ache. Each day a cacophony of our collective laughter and groaning.

It seems daunting. How do I hold space for the fullness of you and also for me? How do I honor your experiences and my own? What do I do with a thousand moments that are never as big as I thought they would be? How do I touch your pain? What is the texture of grief? How do I love you when all around us is the reality and inevitability of loss? How do we hold it all together? Maybe by holding a moment. Just one moment at a time.

This year I have learned more about friendship, about grief, about heartache, loss, about love, about sacrifice, about boundaries, than I could have expected.

And what I’ve learned is that these foundations of life are primarily comprised of the mundane things. The minutiae that fill in the minutes from sunrise to sunset.

So much so that you can miss it. You can keep tending to the things before you ever stop to feel the weight of them and the shape of them and how they fill your chest and your lungs and your throat, before you step back to see their appearance, what they’ve created, the significance of it all. But if you do catch a glimpse, pause. Breathe it in. Feel it. And cry.

Thank you to my closest friends. For makeshift beds. For tears at night, and in the morning. For late night texts and helping children to bed. For laughing. For spare rooms and trust and hard words and angry words and never ending encouragement. Thank you for touching my pain and trusting me to touch yours.

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