I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn

And we are led

To those who help us most to grow

If we let them

And we help them in return

Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true

But I know I’m who I am today

Because I knew you:

Like a comet pulled from orbit

As it passes a sun

Like a stream that meets a boulder

Halfway through the wood

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?

But because I knew you

I have been changed for good

It well may be

That we will never meet again

In this lifetime

So let me say before we part

So much of me

Is made of what I learned from you

You’ll be with me

Like a handprint on my heart

And now whatever way our stories end

I know you have re-written mine

By being my friend:

Like a ship blown from its mooring

By a wind off the sea

Like a seed dropped by a skybird

In a distant wood

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?

But because I knew you:

I have been changed for good

These are some of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs from “Wicked.” The song is “For Good” and it’s the last time that Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) and Galinda/Glinda see each other. The lyrics are powerful to me, because it reminds me of the people in my life with whom I used to be good friends…that somehow have gotten lost or have disappeared from my radar. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great (and growing) circle of friends now that I love deeply. But, there are people that I just don’t speak to anymore, that I don’t even know what is going on in their lives…but the moments we shared and the friendship we have/had did change me, for the better, and made me who I am today. I just read an article online about how the songwriter penned this–he asked his daughter what she would say to her best friend if she knew they would never see each other again. The first verse is pretty much what she said, and then he went from there. Wow.

I guess I’ve been thinking a lot about the people that come in and out of our lives a lot this week; old friends are having babies, my mom is catching me up on news from home; I wonder what is going on in the lives of my sister and brothers in Michigan. Looking at the calendar, it’s August 13 (and Friday the 13th today). It was 8 years ago today that I came home to a message on my answering machine from my sister (who was all of 12) saying that my dad had been in a car accident and ‘it didn’t look good.’ I had just gotten home from a mission trip a week before (where I had accepted Christ) and from touring IU with my mom and step dad. Eleven days later, my father died. I am sure on that day (the 24th) I will write about my feelings about it more. Listening to this song on the way to work this morning made me think about all the things left unsaid between my dad and I before he died. Had I known that our last conversation would have been our last…

…we usually don’t get the chance to tell the people that we love what they mean and what they have done for us and how they have changed us…we don’t know when it will be the last time we can look them in the eye, give them a hug, and tell them how important they are. Maybe the thing that draws me most about this song is that they got the chance and the opportunity most of us never get.