There are days when nothing makes sense. Today marks one week since I sat with my best friend all night long, the day before she died.
Cancer, it's an awful word. How could it be that for 5 years she fought so valiantly. She was so vibrant and full of life. Whether in chemo or at the grocery store she was still able to encourage others and point the way to Christ. There were so many times these last 5 years that I thought she was close to the end of her life, but then she'd gain strength and keep on fighting. I expected this time would be the same. I hoped. I prayed. I so wanted to see her fully healed, here on earth. I wanted her to be able to be the mommy I knew her heart longed to be. I wanted her to see her boys grow to men.
Her last night was so hard. She couldn't get comfortable. She was in pain and the oxygen blowing in her nose hurt, the tube hurt her nose and face. Her legs ached and she went from bending to straight over and over in attempt to find comfort to no avail. Her head ached and she was delirious in her babble. She didn't recognize those around her very well. Her face was swollen, and her eyes stayed closed. Yet even in that pain and torment she would offer a smile. She would calm to worship music and she said more than once "I'm waiting for Jesus," in strained whispers.
5 years of battling breast cancer that took over her body and ate through her flesh. Cancer that entered her other organs and filled her lungs with fluid. Cancer that formed tumors in her brain and made delirium set it. I hate the word cancer and all that it means.
As she lay asleep finally resting after not being able to for 16 hours, her body looked lifeless. She was swollen and pale but I knew she had not passed by the rattling sound each breath made. I sat there hoping she would open her eyes and look around at the room full of people and crack a joke about everyone watching her snore. I was hoping she'd wake up and feel well rested and somehow go on living on this earth. I wanted God to physically heal her HERE.
Yet he didn't.
He healed her alright. I have no doubt that she has a perfect body with no scars, or wounds, no odor that she hated. No sign of cancer rotting her body. No swollen cheeks from steroids. No missing hair. I have no doubt she's perfect and looks even more radiant than she did on her wedding day. I'm so happy for her that she's not in pain. That she's no hurting.
But....I'm hurting. I'm wishing I could call her and just talk.
The other day I wanted to text her to see what she thought about a home school book I was going to use.... Tonight I wanted to run to the store on a late night shopping trip like we used to and I was wishing she was here to go along. She wasn't, so I didn't go.
For a split second my mind forgets that she's gone. My mind can't make sense of it. She was just here.
She's dead from this world, but not from our hearts, or our thoughts. I'm missing our chats as we sat in parking lots and prayed together. What about all of us, all of those left behind. We are expected to keep going. Keep working, and acting normal. But this doesn't feel normal. Her boys don't have their momma to sing You are my sunshine to them at night. Her husband doesn't have his wife, his other half, his life partner. And so so many of us don't have our friend who cheered us on and encouraged us in our walk with Christ.
For fourteen years I had the privileged of calling her my best friend. We studied together over chips and salsa in college. She prayed with me and cried with me over loosing my babies. She sat with me in my hospital room while I lay on bed rest with my oldest. She danced with me and my daughter at her wedding. We welcomed two babies together. We enjoyed camping trips and sleep overs. I listened as she told the kids great stories of secret passageways she made up. We played slipper feet through her old house making kids squeal together. We did water slides and 4th of July and kids birthday parties. She loved my chocolate cake and raved about it in front of me to make me smile. She brought light and laughter where ever she went. I'm so grateful that I knew her and I'm so grateful that I'll meet her again in heaven.