Lights That Guide Us Home


As I reflect today on the life and spirit of my dear friend Glenna Woodbury, I have a deepened awareness and appreciation for the things I have learned over the last six years since her passing.

“Time heals all wounds” isn’t true. It isn’t. I don’t believe time heals anything. But it does offer us distance and perspective. Six years later, there are still moments of grief that pop up and catch me by surprise. They are as poignant and intense and painful as they were in the beginning, but the distance between them has widened. No, I don’t think time is a healer. Time gives us space and a place to be broken and angry, to weep, to be numb, to remember, to laugh and be thankful, and do the work that heals ourselves.

Because of Glenna, I am convinced that there is goodness in the world, and that most people, when asked, will show up and help shoulder the burden. They will give as much as they can, sometimes more, because they are good and they care.  And they will thank you for the opportunity to a part of something miraculous, something bigger than themselves.

Because of Glenna, I wake up each and every morning with the conscious intention of making the most of every moment of the day ahead of me. I show up on purpose. I get up as early as I can and plan my day, and I pack as much into every 24 hours as possible. Time cannot be banked, and I have no intention of wasting what’s in front of me.

Because of Glenna, I don’t complain about growing old. I embrace my aging body and thank it daily for its faithfulness to me. I do my best to care for it and give it the fuel and attention it needs, and I forgive myself when I don’t.

Because of Glenna, I have learned to carefully and thoughtfully create opportunities to express words of love, appreciation, encouragement, and gratitude rather than wait for them. The “right time” to give gifts, whether tangible or spoken, is always Now.

Because of Glenna, I have experienced and witnessed the spectacular and supernatural power of love and prayer and community. I have stood in the midst of it as it has swirled and swarmed and rushed around me and left me speechless. It has given me courage to speak and act boldly and without apology and embrace my gifts and my calling.

Life continues, without  my permission, and brings with it fresh joy and new opportunities, as well as losses and disappointments.  There is sufficient grace for the journey.  On a cloudless night, when the stars are out, I often go outside and stand in the middle of our driveway and look up. If I wait for it, the brightest stars will begin to twinkle and I can see things just a bit more clearly. There is a thin veil that separates us from those who have gone on ahead, and we are not that far from Home.


3 thoughts on “Lights That Guide Us Home

  1. Words so true they brought tears…. It has been a little more than 4 years since my best friend, partner, husband died and I’m convinced you are right. Time doesn’t heal those wounds. I work every day to not fall into grief, anger, hopelessness, and despair. I continue to make the effort to stay connected and keep learning, growing, and helping others in my own way. I know happiness is my own responsibility. I search for moments of joy in the beauty around us and the warmth of friends and the love of my family. But, I still miss those strong, loving arms, wise words, and contented times.

    • Thank you, Renee, for sharing your thoughts. I did not know you had lost your husband so recently. You have soldiered on admirably and have embraced new beginnings. I admire you. Warmly, Cindy

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