I don't like goodbyes but often in life they must be said even when we aren't ready or willing. My favorite goodbyes include a big strong embrace and an "I love you". I share these moments with the special people in my life and I cherish the memories and the warmth and love that seems to come with me as I leave.
Today I'm remembering the Sunday morning goodbyes shared with a special friend whom I've admired since childhood and come to love with all my heart. She was my mother's friend first. I remember the kindnesses she showed to my mother, coming to visit her when she was ill and bringing something homemade and delicious to brighten her days. And the laughter the ladies shared so often as they chatted was delightful.
She is so easy to love because she always makes you feel so cared about and loved. She is interested in your life, what you are doing and how you are doing. She shares tears with you and that wonderful laughter she overflows with. A month or so ago she gave me a photograph of my parents greeting her at her retirement party. Each face shows the joy that seemed to surround her personality.
She always shared newspaper clippings with the church youth, her family, and anyone she knew. She made you feel special and valued. Even when she felt alone and sad as she watched her friends fail in health. Life was especially painful for her as she suffered loss upon loss through the years. Yet she sought to understand God's purpose for her life and how to cope with the sadness.
God is calling my friend home so it will be her many precious friends and dear family who will seek to cope with the sadness when she is gone. Selfishly, I wish she could stay with us, because she was such an encourager. But, I try to wish for her the peace and rest she so deserves. God bless you, my friend.
"A friend loves at all times," (Proverbs 17:17 NIV).