Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.
That sentimental tidbit was imprinted on the ceramic plate that I presented to a dear friend at her going away reception Sunday afternoon. Recent health issues are forcing her to move closer to her children, and although I’ve had a few weeks to prepare myself, I couldn’t hold the tears at bay. After enjoying a potluck and opening presents, she stood and recounted the circumstances that brought her to us less than a year ago.
Having just driven the majority of their belongings 11 hours to their new home, she and her husband had returned to pick up the remainder of their possessions when he died as the result of a heart attack. After the funeral and against the wishes of her family and friends, she decided to complete the move as planned. She explained that “you can’t just reverse course mid-leap.”
I remember the first time I saw her at church. She had briefly shared the circumstances of her move with a few of us after the service and then joined a large group of us as we went out for lunch. I, being an introvert, was struck by her willingness to step outside her comfort zone so soon after a devastating event.
Over the past few months, I’ve grown quite close to her. We’ve spent hours talking on the telephone as we planned weekly prayer services. I found her to be both highly intelligent and thoughtful. I have been left speechless multiple times by her ability to see things from a completely different perspective than most people. She has proven herself to be a true friend time and time again, even insisting on sitting in the waiting room during one of my recent medical tests.
I love her and I will miss her.
If we never meet again this side of heaven,
I will meet you on that beautiful shore.