I lost a dear friend today. She has been fighting the fight of her life - for her life - in a city far away from her extended family and host of friends. Just over a month ago, she didn't even know that she was really sick. And now she's gone. She knew immediately, however, that her time was short and she began making plans. She was calm and serene - at least that is how she appeared in her posts on the internet and personal messages to me. I'm sure it was the same to every one she communicated with. She was always a giver. It not only was her profession (social work), but, by nature, she was a nurturer. She was always concerned about others. But she wasn't afraid to receive. So many times, people who give to an extreme, don't know how to receive. It's hard for me to explain, but, perhaps her own words, will give you a clearer picture of how she drew on the strength of those that loved her:
"in my fused world, on the left side of me is a small box, it sits just above my heart, and though it seems small, it never feels like the content ever changes. . . it is full of the prayers and love you have sent . . . when I need a prayer, I reach into the box and pull one out . . . it is very tiny, so I use my fingertips and . . . drop them onto my heart . . . this is where God has placed your prayers so I can find them . . . funny thing is that sometimes I can see your face. I love it! We cannot choose how we die, only how we live and I choose to live in Christ with the earthly help of each of you! Most tests today . . . love you all."
I don't know if that touches you in the way that it touches me, but I hope that I can face death with such tenderness. I've seen my friend go through some very dark times and I've seen her fight her way out of that blackness. She's not fighting anymore.
I'm missing you, my friend.