I am not a fan of good-byes.
They are hard. They signify the end of something. Even when a bright new beginning is just around the corner, there is still a sense of loss. What used to be. What might have been.
Tonight's goodbye was no exception.
Our dear friend Sue had been battling cancer since last July. Tonight her battle ended. She was ready. She knew where she was going.
I am thankful beyond measure that I grieve with the hope of seeing Sue again. Still, my heart echoes the sentiment our mutual friend Connie, "With all my heart, I will miss my friend."
Only a week lapsed between Sue making the decision to end the chemo treatments that were no longer making headway against her cancer and her passing. During that week I spent some time thinking about the years of friendship I've shared with Sue.
We met at church and our families had a few instant connections.
Todd is from Michigan and so are Randy and Sue.
They have an only child and at the time, so did we.
Randy is a Nascar fan and because of Grant's Nascar passion, so were we.
Sue and I were both teachers.
We clicked. Our friendship grew.
When I struggled with questions on how to successfully rear an only child, I went to Sue. Hearing Sue's words of experience always helped so much more than any article or book I read. She gave good, no-nonsense advice when I asked. Most importantly, she walked through the struggle with me.
When I needed someone to pray with me about something, I went to Sue.
And Sue would pray. About everything. Faithfully.
Just a few weeks ago, while standing by her bed visiting, she asked me about a family member that I asked her to pray for years ago. It struck me, even while facing her own battle, she was still praying for my sister in law. What a beautiful moment we had when I was able to share some great evidence of God's work. We wept together of God's faithfulness and answered prayers.
My last real conversation with Sue was filled with sharing memories, talk of Heaven, tears, hand holding and true gratitude for a life well spent. I will carry it with me until we meet again.