I don't know what to say today. I need to say it. This may be long, it may be short, it may be more scattered than any post i've written ... it may be more coherant than anything written. I need to get it out.
My heart is broken, shattered and torn. A friend, who I loved more than I realized ... passed away yesterday. She was a beautiful, tiny red headed woman. Strong, and quietly fierce. If you didn't know, you'd never know she was suffering ...daily. She humbly wrote it off.
She was married, with 2 sons, both in the same grades as my sons. We started to the same church at about the same time. Our youngest sons were in kindergarten. Tiny little things ... still waddling when they walked. The way kids who are not still toddlers but not quite yet 'children' do.
A few years later, our boys would go to church camp for the first time together ...and our older boys grew up together in children's church ..and graduated together into youth group .. and now, they've both graduated from high school. Her son has gone into the miliatary, and mine to college. Both fine young men.
Our husbands have both gone through some remarkable changes over the years, scarcely the men that they were when they first shook hands. Her husband, probably doesn't know that he's partly responsible for my husband's return to church life after a 15 year absence. His graceful, loving, and caring acceptance of who Don was, where he was ..without an expectations of anything OF him ... helped Don to see church as a place that he could go and be a part of again. This, ultimately led to the healing of our marriage. Her husband has no idea of the role he played in that.
Over the years, we were in a small group together, her husband and i spent 7 years in the worship team together (me 8 years, him 7 of those 8). We both served as adult volunteers in the youth group ... and they hosted many many parties for the youth group!
Many times, she would be in the hospital, I'd go to see her ... or me, and they'd either call or come to see me. Between the 2 of us, we kept our pastor hopping, that's for sure!
But like Don, we knew, that what she had, could take her life ... we knew that her father had died young ... and she might not make it. That gave her husband and I a special bond.
Her husband, like me, is a poet. Another thing we bonded on. Her husband and I got published together, the same week in a local publications with our poetry. It was so fun for the 4 of us to read that together at a church Thanksgiving Dinner.
With each surgery, we knew that it was a risk, and we held our breath and prayed. The silent panic we kept down with prayer and supplications ... not this time God! PLEASE NOT THIS TIME!
The same prayer i pray every time my husband gets sick.
Last year, when Don was sick, they weren't around and i never thought to tell them. So when they started to come back to church and found him using a walker with oxygen, they were a just a bit alarmed. It was hard to explain to these people who cared so much for us, what had happened and we hadn't let them know.
While we'd been building our house, she'd been in the hospital in Dallas for most of that time ..she didn't get to see it. I kept meaning to invite her over ...
but something about her was special .. . ..
I didn't want her to just SEE the house, I wanted her to see the completed house ... with all the paintings and decorations that everyone had given us, up on the walls ...and you see ... almost 2 years later, I still have white, blank walls.
Not a nail has been put in the wall. I've had my reasons. Health, Don's situation, need help ... this or that ... but I've put off inviting my friend over till it was 'done' then I'd have them over for dinner.
But yesterday, she passed away. Without ever seeing my house. She'd have rather seen it with the blank walls ...she even told me so once. She told me she couldn't wait to see it and I told her 'let me get the paintings hung, let me get it perfect'.
I knew she didn't care, but I wanted it perfect for her.
If only I'd not procrastinated ...
she's gone and the white walls are still here.