Life and Love

My sister-in-law, Debbi, died unexpectedly last week at the age of 52. Her life radiated with life and love. The memorial service was packed full with family and friends, a strong vindicator of the good life she lived.

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Have you ever been to a funeral where there is more laughter than crying? It may seem out of place, but those closest to Debbi couldn’t help but laugh. Sure, there were plenty of tears, but there was too much life swelling the place to get anyone too terribly down.

It seemed more like a reunion. We didn’t plan the picture above, the lighting dim and we most of “the cousins” from the family were missing. The picture isn’t even half of them. We stayed late into the night at the local pizza parlor, visiting and catching up with life.

It is sometimes easy to miss the significance of life and love. At least it is for me. Some people just get it; they understand the beauty of life and how love overcomes all iniquities. The relationship between life and love, when understood, is the most significant truth of that which I have had to come to realize in life.

Debbi was definitely one of these people who just got it. She loved until it hurt, and her life bloomed because of it. She most certainly will be missed.


Debbi Odegard (1962-2014)