Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Something more important than being green

Photo courtesy of Kim Newburg

When my kids were little, I had the best friends ever! Since I lived 250 miles from my closest family member, the need for reliable friends was really important...and God provided just what I needed. I had a few really awesome friends who didn't just tolerate my kids, they loved them. Kathy and Sandy B. were like second moms to my girls, and Sandy W. and Judy were there for me whenever I needed them. It was like having a great big extended family. Bethany and Jessica were raised with a bunch of surrogate brothers and sisters and it was wonderful.

After I moved away 19 years ago, I lost track of Sandy B. My last Christmas card to her was returned because she no longer lived down the street from my previous address. I tried to find her, but kept coming up with dead ends.

Then on Friday night, I finally found her kids on Facebook. Bethany, Jess and I have been doing FB searches on a regular basis and we simply couldn't find them. When I found Sandy's oldest daughter, I wrote an upbeat message to her, expressing my excitement over finding her at last! I told her I couldn't wait to get the families together again. I clicked send before checking out her friends' list. It was small and I spotted her dad's page. Opening it, I was stunned by the wall post I saw there. It was an announcement for Sandy's viewing and memorial dinner to be held on September 15th. I sat at my desk, stunned, unmoving, simply reading his post over and over again. Sandy died? I thought to myself. That's not possible. So I googled the obit and sure enough, there it was. She died suddenly two weeks ago at the age of 49. I missed the funeral.

But that's not all I missed. I also missed the chance to tell her how much she meant to me and my girls. I didn't get to thank her for being a lifeline after my husband was killed. I didn't get to hug her for all the countless hugs she gave me girls.

We carpooled together. The kids rode the bus together. She came to the women's Bible Study I taught in my home, while my husband walked over to her house to watch her 3 kids. Sandy died? That's not possible.

Remember the returned Christmas card? I still have it. Inside the sealed envelope is a letter I wrote to her, expressing my heartfelt gratitude for all she did for me back when we were neighbors and close friends. I can't bear to open the envelope.

I also can't bring myself to popping the video of my kids' 5th and 7th joint birthday party into the VCR (yes, folks, I still have a VCR!!). It's the one where my late husband and Sandy grace the screen several times. Sandy died? That's not possible.

So here we go again with me reminding you that life is short. Sometimes it is way, way, way too short.

Should we care about the environment? Absolutely!

Should we watch what we're feeding our kids? Of course!

Should we read labels? Naturally.

But before we do all of that, we should hug our kids, kiss our spouses, call our parents, spend time with our friends...and thank every one of them for the treasure they are in our lives.

So let me close by saying I treasure you, my GG family. You enrich my life.


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