Love Like Cheryl

Posted on | November 9, 2017 | 1 Comment

Everyone has that moment: the one that knocks you backwards and steals your breath away. The moment that whispers in your ear “You are temporary.” Some people are fortunate and they only have to hear the message once to fully appreciate where they stand in the grand scheme of the universe. Some of us need to hear it over and over again.

On Friday, my husband called me at work, his voice shaky, to tell me that the 42 year old wife of one of his friends had suddenly passed away. When I say suddenly, I mean suddenly. No warning. No explanation. Nothing to pin point as to why her heart simply stopped beating at that precise moment on Friday morning. Cheryl Ogle was many things to many people: a wife, a teacher, a friend, a guardian angel. But the role of hers that struck me in the chest was that Cheryl Ogle was a mother. She was the mother of two boys, barely older than my oldest.

Some things just hit you where it hurts.

I wasn’t close to Cheryl. We’d met a few times and I remembered her as being exceptionally kind with a Southern drawl that was 90% sugar with a splash of water. I couldn’t say that we were friends, though I think, in retrospect, that we would have been.

I watched the people move in and around the cemetery, holding pink flowers and hugging on the two boys and their father. I saw the signs lit up around town, reminding everyone to Love Like Cheryl Ogle. I listened to the minister speak about Cheryl and what she meant to her family and to her community.  I listened as her husband spoke to mine about his wife, I heard how his voice caught briefly in his throat, how his eyes misted over as he looked back toward the bright white casket adorned with flowers.

His was a woman who loved big.

She was a woman who was loved big in return.

As we left the cemetery hand in hand, my husband looked at me.

“We have to do better,” he said. And I nodded. Because I knew what he meant.

This is a big world. And it needs more people to Love Like Cheryl Ogle did. It needs me to love bigger, to be more patient with those around me, to remind the people I love just how much I love them. And to love the people around me, even when it seems nearly impossible to do so.

So today, buy the car behind you a coffee. Give a dollar or two to the homeless woman on the corner. Buy a new book and donate it to a school library. Tell your husband how much he means to you. Hug your kids just a smidge tighter before you say “have a nice day.”

And when they look at you funny or ask you why? Tell them you’re doing it for Cheryl.

I think she’d like that.

 

Comments

One Response to “Love Like Cheryl”

  1. Shelby Henderson
    November 9th, 2017 @ 7:22 pm

    Your post conveyed my thoughts exactly. Cheryl was an angel on a Earth, and I pledge to do better, just as you wrote! #lovelikecherylogle

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