The turning point of my life…

She glides smoothly across the floor. Her body is thin, strong, and resilient. She stands on one foot, and if you focus hard, you can see that she’s trembling inside from the effort. Her heart is high, her shoulders are pulled back, her eyes steady on one point in the distance. Her hand reaches out, delicately, gracefully, as if holding an invisible partner for support.

I wish I were her.

It was exactly six summers ago. I was on Cloud 9 getting ready for my wedding the following week when the call came and a voice on the other end of the line delivered the earth-shattering news that she had taken her own life. My world went black. I fell to my knees, screaming at a pitch I never knew existed.

We went to see her family first. Silence seemed to be the most healing energy at the time. Tears quietly rolled down our faces. We were numb. Then it was funeral arrangements, then it was the decision to have a closed casket. Everything was surreal. It felt like I was watching a horror movie unfold. None of us could believe she was gone.

Her tombstone reads: “You are loved”

I’m doing my best to walk through this journey called life, and as much as I try to step lightly, I’m not always successful. I stumble. A lot. And I’ve come to realize that being steady on your feet may not always be possible. Sometimes you have to hop, skip, or even jump, to make it; usually you have to lean on others to get through.

So, that summer, we leaned on each other in order to keep going. My wedding took place the following week. Most guests traveled many miles to celebrate with us. It ended up being a truly joyous celebration. Our parents were proud. And everyone danced the night away.

Yeah, I lost my footing when I lost one of my best friends before my wedding. I stumbled and had to catch myself, but I landed on one foot and grounded myself to the earth. I lifted my heart high, and with one hand reaching forward I caught the gracious love of my new husband.

Maybe I am a dancer, after all.

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