Twice this year, we’ve had to say goodbye too soon to giant men with giant hearts, giant humor and giant love for their friends and family.

Stupid cancer.

Twice this week, my husband has been gifted with a bag of clothes from the closet of these friends.

Lovely thoughts.

In one bag, shorts.
In the other, shirts and camo hunting gear.
Both bags full of so much more than clothes.

Sorting through the thread and cloth, I’m struck by the threads that tie us all together.
Some we can see.
Some are invisible to the naked eye….
But not to the heart.

Rick, the first friend lost, was the one who would call or text and say, “Krista. That shirt your huusband wore today has GOT to disappear.”
He was the one to keep Michael looking sharp.
Rick was also the one to keep him honest, start the smack-talk, and generally keep things rolling with a laugh, a smile, and a tsk tsk tsk. His blue eyes always twinkled with an impish gleam… Looking for and celebrating the joys and chuckles of life.

Steve, memorialized just weeks ago, would never have dreamed of telling me to throw out anything – no matter how faded, worn or full of holes. In all honesty, I don’t think he ever even noticed.
He was the one who would challenge with an observation, a thought, a subtle wisecrack you never saw coming, but I don’t think he ever saw the outside of anyone….his blue eyes looked right into a person.

Both men hunted.
Rick got his beautiful trophy buck on a “bucket list hunt” with his closest friends…. Michael was there.
Steve hunted, too….but he spent his time reading great books, drinking Diet Coke and perhaps occasionally watching some deer. He paid for his spot on the lease for decades – just to spend time with the guys he loved.

Stupid cancer took them from us.
Far, far too soon.

But stupid cancer doesn’t win.

The blue eyes and brotherhood lives on.
Not through the clothes.
Not even just through the memories.

Clothes don’t make the man.
But the threads of friendship that are woven in, out, and throughout our lives….
These things make the MEN….
They make the WOMEN.
They make US.

Then sings my soul….
It’s a melancholy song tonight.
But the joy and love on which it’s built will find its way through.

In time.
A stitch in time….and the threads weave on.