3/01/2010

Grace for Julie

Wow, another friend dies of breast cancer! The phone call came and when I heard the news I didn't really react. Though I expected it, it just didn't sound right, and I felt shocked. I took the news, at first well but as the evening wore up, and the finality of it hit me, I was speechless.

Today, at home with her husband by her side and her two sons, both in their early 20’s to say their final good byes, Julie passed over. The three men's final good bye’s were said and felt on this earth to a wonderful wife and loving mother. But, it was not a good bye forever. They will unite again, in another place…

I can’t help but reflect on the timing of this death. How fitting, God took Julie out of her pain during Lent. With Lent being a Christian time to remember Jesus’ death for our sins and thus, giving us eternal salvation, he took Julie out of her misery. Her body has been raging with pain as her incurable cancer spread through out all of her bones causing her increasing chronic pain with no end in sight. God to the rescue, she is now free of pain. Heaven frees her from the misery, the sorrow and the hurt. Such a good kind loving woman that brought so many happy memories to those of us that knew her well is now at the final destination. She believed in God and in good and now has what she deserves. Yet, those of us left behind are filled with heavy hearts. We shall miss our friend, until the day comes when we see her again.

In facing death, we are all reminded of how short life truly is. And also of God’s promise to us.

I am so grateful I had the chance to tell Julie what was in my heart, when I sensed her passing was inevitable. I sat with her one day not long ago, while she was in the chemotherapy treatment room, a place somber and sterile, void of personality. I swallowed hard and quit worrying about if it was the right time to say it or not. I then started to slowly talk to her about how she had touched my life, how I felt about our friendship. I will never forget the sparkle in her eyes as I espounded on my feelings. I told her just how much she meant to me.

I reflected with her about how, when our hair had came back after being out of treatment, we both felt alive again. I told Julie that day I saw her with her beautiful curly redish hair, I saw the beauty in her face, the life that had seemed lacking in both of us when we met years before in treatment. I told Julie that, no matter what, I will never forget her. A piece of her will remain in my heart as she has deeply touched my life. I meant it when I said it to her and she knew it too. I think she felt likewise.

I had not a clue that would be the last time I would see my friend. Oh, how many times we hear life is short and pay little credence to it.

Don’t wait to say what is in your heart to others. Trust me, tomorrow doesn't always come. Don't wait till the very last day on earth to recognize the best healer of all - Faith. Get some now and plenty of it!
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