Life keeps pushing on.

My lemon tree is bursting with fruit this year. I guess this must be the fourth season since Steve died that it’s transformed bud to blossom to perfect sun-yellow fruit.

Life just keeps moving forward. My life keeps moving forward, even though at times it feels as if it should have stopped on that surreal day–like a clock whose hands are frozen at the exact moment it got knocked off the mantel. But no, insistent life keeps surging on, as if Steve never existed.

So I hold the evidence of his life here tightly in my clenched fist, loosening my grip from time to time to lay open my palm and savor what’s there, looking over the tattered snapshots of my days with him, frustrated that I’m powerless to keep them from fading with so much time.

Meanwhile, I hear the cars driving by my house. Mothers, fathers, children…each one busy doing their own life, living out their particular allotment of time.

Death gives you new perspective on life. I can feel now how Steve’s life, my life, are each like tiny pebbles tossed into an enormous lake. Our entrance breaks the surface tension of the water, briefly altering it, perhaps even making a little splash. And over time, we pray the spreading ripples moving out from our lives will have some lasting positive effect on this world before they quiet and disappear. Because that’s all we get here on earth: just a heartbeat of a moment.

In Steve’s case, I see his life’s impact on his daughter’s diligent approach to work, picked up from so many hours spent building alongside her dad. I hear it in the notes I continue to receive from clients who write of the ways he used his gifts of sensitivity, intelligence, and compassion to help them heal, and their children along with them.

Please, God, use this tiny, lovely pebble of a life you’ve given me to have some lasting effect on the people you’ve placed around me before the ripples emanating out from my life spread farther and farther apart, gradually flattening and melting into the same smooth, quiet surface that was there before my pebble ever made an appearance.