One of the greatest artists I have ever known passed away almost two months ago.
She was one of the greatest theatre professionals I have ever known.
But she was also a sister. Daughter. Teacher. Mentor. Wife. Friend. Mother.
I think if you asked her, she'd say one of greatest roles yet.
But alas, I digress.
This woman, well, she taught me how to embrace my love of creativity. My love for theatre. My crazy curly dark hair. In a world full of high school football games and kickline and cheerleading squads, she taught me that there was a place for me - the artist, the introvert, the storyteller.
This woman, she passed away suddenly a little less than two months ago.
Without a word.
Without a goodbye.
Gone. Just like that.
The other night I had a dream about this woman.
We were all under a white tent.
I couldn't even tell you who was there exactly, except it was all of "us"...
So many faces...laughing, smiling, talking.
We were all there to celebrate, to commiserate, to chat.
And then, she walked in.
It was weird, cause we all knew that she had passed away - and yet, there she was...in a blue and green and white and black long flowing dress.
There was a scar on her head from where she had fallen...
...and she was smiling.
And true to form, she wiped our eyes from the tears of wonder and joy and sadness that streaked our cheeks.
Don't cry, she said.
I reached up and touched her scar.
Did it hurt? Were you scared?
Oh Meg, sure it did. But our scars, our scars are make us what we are.
I woke up pretty soon after that.
But that dream, it's stuck with me for over a week now. And the crazy part of it all is that it feels like something real. Something true. Something that actually happened.
And I know that sounds nuts.
And I'm not going to sit here and rationalize it.
But I am going to type the strength that I've gained from it.
Our scars - our scars are what make us who we are. Every cut, every bruise, every scrape - they give color and depth and strength to our souls. Every mark and scar and wound that we cannot see - they can be the weights that drag us down and sink us, or they can be the badges that set us free. That let us speak the truth That help us spark a conversation of change.
Our scars make us who we are.
They are not something to be hidden under make-up or hushed conversations. They are marks of a soul that has weathered a storm and come out to see the rainbow.
They are the hushed pieces of our lives that we can learn from. Grow from. Rise above.
It's the scars that make us who we are, and the scars who tell us who we are not. For it is often that the greatest of heartache and pain is often met with times of the greatest of strength and compassion.
People we love can often leave us sooner than we'd like, sooner than we'd hope sooner than we are prepared for...and it can sometimes leave a wound so deep that one can never imagine it ever being healed.
But we carry on.
And we do better.
We get up every morning, and remind ourselves to breathe in and out all day long, and live a life that makes us proud. That makes us happy.
We get up every morning, and try to do good.
For we're not, nor have we ever been alone in this world. And our actions affect others. And we hope that those actions will be pearls of wisdom. Of hope of inspiration. Of motivation. Of love.
For our scars are what makes us who we are.
And so we make a vow to live a life where we show our scars as badges of honor - as a reminder of how far we've come.
It was 1998, and we were all in a dusty old barn. And one of the biggest idols of my life sang to her students and an audience full of people, I Will Remember You, by Sarah McLachlan.
I had always dreamed of singing, but I could never do it in front of people. Acting? Sure. Singing? Not so much.
And there she was, my birthday twin, singing her heart out to her beloved students, letting the audience partake in this tender moment.
Her scar perhaps was letting them go...
...their scar was having the strength to leave.
18 YEARS LATER, and so much has changed.
She's gone, and we're all still here.
The bravery and beauty of that moment is something I'll always carry with me. I still can't listen to the song without tearing up, but one day I'll weep not for the memories...
...and smile at the thought of what was, and what will be.