Things on my to-do list were moved to another day. There are book reviews I need to write that will wait. I canceled a lunch this week and rescheduled piano lessons.
Some days are like that.
My friend died the first of this week, her battle with a dreaded disease now over. But for those who loved her, it is not over. We are left with a gaping hole in our hearts. Her husband, children and grands are wondering how in the world they will live without her.
I remember that aching feeling when my mother died, me in my early 30s. How could I go on living without her not there to talk with me, to pray for and counsel me, to laugh with me and pour me a cup of coffee at her table?
This week my heart has been raw and my memories tender.
My friend was just a year older than me. She and her husband were married just a few years more than Sweet William and me. She had grandchildren close in age to mine who lived states away, just like me.
Sometimes when a friend grows more dear, I try to remember when the first spark appeared between us. When was it we connected, when we learned we shared interests and had things common in our lives? At what moment does friendship take root and begin to grow?
It was not so long ago when it happened with her. Sweet William and I were struggling with health issues and decisions that would be life-altering. I called her to talk because I knew she would understand. She and her husband came to our house, sat at our table, drank our coffee, and shared their experiences. They opened their hearts to us.
And I think that was the moment. That’s when our friendship ignited and began to burn brightly, and it warmed us both.
You know how it is when someone finds a place in your heart. You want to spend more time with her, to know her better. She and I had those opportunities in a few short years as the Lord gave moments of communion.
In the days of her sickness, we talked honestly about life and death. She was not afraid of dying. She was concerned about her husband and her family left behind, how they would cope. Her heart was wrapped around those dear ones.
She told me she wanted to finish well. And she did. She loved to the end. Her countenance reflected the glory of her Savior. She witnessed to those around her that Jesus is indeed Lord of all.
Her funeral was a testimony of a life well lived, though her years seemed too short for all of us who her knew and loved her.
The Heavenly Father alone appoints our days, and when our work is over, He will call us Home. My friend got to go Home this week. I can only imagine the glories she is enjoying now in the presence of the One who gave His life for her and stretched out His hand to escort her Home.
My friend loved home. Hers reflected her art, her creativity, her nurturing care for those who entered. Today she no longer resides in the temporary earthly dwelling; she is really Home to stay, the place prepared for all eternity.
I miss her already, her bright smile, her twinkling eyes, her kindness, the way she laughed. I can’t imagine living without her.
There are days of great joy during this earthly life, and there are days of heaviness, pain and sorrow. We all experience both. Hopefully, I remember to be grateful for days full of sunshine and flowers. Equally, I want to grow stronger in my faith, develop endurance when the days are hard, and know even more that all things do indeed work for my good. In all of my days and years I want to reflect the beauty of Jesus, to spread the fragrance of His love, like my friend did.
One day I will see her again when my work here on earth is over. I’ll hear my Savior call my name, and He will escort me to glory.
Then it will be my turn to go Home to stay.