There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Like the Good Book says, there is a time for everything. A time to be born, and as my friend painfully reminded my heart... a time to die. There is a time to weep, and more importantly, a time to laugh when the tears dry. There is a time to mourn our losses, but we can't be sad forever - we must also dance.
There is a quote of African origin that says, "If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance." Beyond the literal meaning, I think there is also a somewhat spiritual message as well - we can all go through life walking, putting one foot in front of the other as a means to move us down the road. Or we can let the joy of the universe fill us, and we can dance. To walk is to exist, but to dance? That is to live. In Lee Ann Womack's song "I Hope You Dance", she's not telling us to dance... she's telling us to live. Don't spend your entire life walking. Stand in awe of the vastness of the ocean, let the view from the top of a mountain take your breath away. Love with everything you've got, embrace every gift in your life... and dance.
Beyond all that is deep and spiritual, there is also a time for a fanfic to begin... and a time for it to end. This one has reached the latter. Writing this fic has been a lot of fun and a lot of emotional release for me in a really hard time. Having you, my readers, following me throughout this painful emotional journey with your really touching notes of encouragement and commiseration has meant more than you know. Reading about your own experiences with pain and loss reminds me that I am not alone in my grief, and that in fact none of us are alone. We reach out to each other more than we know, and spin little threads that keep us bound to each other, and reality. When you have nothing else binding you, you have those little threads... so many of them put together that they are strong enough to hold you.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I have heard that quote attributed to Plato, and it is very true. There isn't a one of us who hasn't experienced pain and loss to some degree, and I think we begin to realize that when we share with each other. Instead of focusing on our differences, when we see someone who is mourning a loss, we realize just how similar we are. Black, white, young, old, rich, poor... nothing makes us impervious to pain. We all suffer, and we all help hold each other up. That is the most beautiful aspect of humanity.
I feel like I am rambling here, but I want you to understand how much I appreciate every single one of you. As readers, as kind individuals who extended a hand to me in a painful time, and in the case of some of you guys... as friends. You know who you few are - thank you.
A lot of what I wrote in these past 20 chapters was based in some form of experience or reality. Despite this, any similarity between one of my personal characters (Janice, Arthur, Kamaria, The Prune, Chuck, Leslie, Sarah, etc. etc. etc.) and any real person, living or dead, is PURELY coincidental. Some of their traits and behaviors are based on people I know or have known, but none of them is rooted entirely in that person. And of course, we must render unto Caesar what is Caesar's... all canon characters, locations, plot archs, etc. belong to Bones, which belongs to Fox.
As I change the status of this fic to "completed", I am taking a deep breath and moving on to my next project. It will be called The Pretty Women in the Pumpkin Patch, and has a decidedly Halloween-y feel to it... because I love Halloween! The first chapter should be up within the next day or two, and I really hope to hear from you guys on that one too. :)
To wrap it all up... thank you. Thank you for reading, for your reviews, and for your heart. Thank you for walking alongside of me with this fic, for celebrating and mourning with me. Now go. Laugh a lot. Read good books. Love with every piece of your heart and never go to bed angry. Don't run unless you have someone to run with. And mostly... dance.