My friend died today. She’s been sleeping for over two weeks without waking up. I’ve prayed for her not to be in pain. She wasn’t. Now she’s gone. I know that she is in a better place. I prayed that God would take her home. But I miss her.
When I was 16 I talked to Bee about going to college. I explained why I wanted to go, why my school counselors thought it was a good idea. When I approached my folks about it, they said, “If the elders think you should go.” Boy were my folks surprised when they supported my idea!
When I was 18 my father decided he was tired of being married to my mother. The stress of their marriage was stronger than the benefits. I called Bee. I told her what my dad said. She and Joe (her husband) bought plane tickets to my folks’ town and called and said, “Hey, we’re going to be in … Can we come visit you?” My father, who never said anything he didn’t do (before his stroke), changed his mind. My folks have been married 42 years now. And the last half has been much happier than the first.
When I decided to do a two year missionary stint overseas, Joe and the other elder from our church supported me. Even though I had been off at college for four years, the congregation of less than 70 people provided half my support. Thank you.
I wanted Joe to perform the wedding ceremony for my husband and I, but my husband wanted his grandfather to marry us. I figured blood trumped friends. But if it hadn’t been his grandfather…
When my family was going through turmoil, we always knew Bee and Joe were just a phone call away. Mom and Dad went and visited often, once they moved back to Texas. I didn’t go so much.
Then we got a call that Bee had brain cancer. Mom had just had surgery and was not allowed to travel. The doctors said it would probably kill her. So I went. For four weeks I drove once a week the four hours to San Antonio and stayed overnight and spent a full day with Bee. Bee could not speak much. She did say, once, “I didn’t know your family… cared that much.”
How could we not? You were there through marriages, divorces, moves, growing up, growing pains, having kids, mission work, dating… You were the friend of my whole family. The only friends we’ve managed to keep that long with all our moving around. It’s been 26 years since we met you. 26 more wouldn’t have been too long to know you.
We’ll miss you.