I had to say goodbye to the best friend I've ever had.
After an 11 month battle with metastatic endometrial cancer, my precious Linda went to be with Jesus. My heart still aches from losing her. Although I shouldn't say lost; I know exactly where she is....in heaven, rejoicing, knowing no pain, no tears, no sadness, sitting at the feet of Jesus...seeing God face to face. I envy her that.
But my flesh...oh, how my flesh cries out. Linda was the kind of person that loved deeply. Not quickly, however. She tested the waters, and once you proved trustworthy, she was your friend for life. We had one fight in our 12 year friendship and it was the most horrible thing in my life. It was like cutting off my own arm. Thankfully, she forgave as well as she loved. Linda would listen to my rantings and let me be my crazy self, all while sometimes chuckling and shaking her head at my mania.
She kept me grounded when I would have flown directly into the fire of my own making. Linda was the kind of person that would be there when she said she would. She was the kind of friend you could call in the middle of the night. She might have been up anyway! She was such a night owl! Not so much a morning person. Even I knew to stay away from her at work for the first hour or so in the morning!
While God sends people in and out of our lives, I think this was the toughest "out" for me. I have had friendships fade, end abruptly for other reasons, some friends move, and you try to keep in touch, but eventually life gets in the way....
But Linda was different. Nothing would ever have kept us apart. I moved an hour away, but we still saw each other as often as possible. Even when she was diagnosed with MS, she still came out to see me when she could. As often as every weekend.
We always had Christmas Day together with Linda as long as we've been friends. I think the only one we missed was the last one she was alive...and we stopped at her house on the way to my parents' Christmas Eve. She had started chemo....
It breaks my heart to think of those last days, so I try not to. How such a precious soul could suffer so valiantly...She was Strength. She was Honor. And Goodness. And Loyalty. She was Noble and Kind.
Oh, Linda, how I miss you. I know I will see you again some day, my friend, and that has to keep me going for now. But days like today...the hurt is bigger than the hope.
I love you my dear, precious friend. For always.