Last week I lost a friend. I lost her to death. It is a sadness that is hard to explain as I know she was such a strong believer in Jesus, and had been a widow for years. I know she was getting tired. Tired of trudging through each day wondering why she was still here. We had that talk many times. But as she trudged along she looked for opportunities to bring life and the love of Christ to those around her. She was a light.
I spent a lot of time with my dear friend when I had no job and was more able to spend my days as I wished. But, life changes, I got a full time job and I became ever more entrenched in my own children and it became harder to see her. We stayed in touch as much as we could, but it was a pale comparison to our earlier relationship. I missed her, but we would have time for more visits. Always more time, right?
When I got the call that she was very ill, Jim and I went to the hospital to see her for the last time. She was gracious as ever, asking about my girls immediately. I smiled as I told her they were well. We sat and talked with her, her words garbled and hard to understand, but it did not matter. She was my friend, the same friend that I had sat with through many hospital stays, sat with in her home, sat with at my girls basketball games, at brunch and church events. She was the same friend that had loved me and treated me as family. She was going to be missed.
We attended her memorial service a mere 4 days later. I looked around the room during the service and was not surprised to see so many people there. It is common for people nearing 90 to have only a handful of people there. But not my friend, she had filled the room with loving family and friends. People that she had touched or touched through her family they were there to support. Yes, she would be missed.
I often talked with my friend about the legacy she had begun with her family. She and her husband had raised a beautiful family full of talent and love for God. It was almost like she was shocked by this! Like she had nothing to do with it. I hear her voice in my head when we would talk about her great kids. The joy and surprise in her voice when she would exclaim “I know!” when I would tell her how wonderful they are. Yes, she would be missed.
I will always remember her. I will remember that she loved well and gave it all. Gave for her Lord, for her family, and for her friends. I can only hope to be like that. I want to show people that they matter, that they are important, that they are cared for and loved. I want to treat people the way she treated me. I want them to know that it comes from something deeper than myself, from a faith that inspires me to love. She inspired me and yes, she will be missed.