A beautiful soul has left us, and my life will never be the same again.
In the midst of a day of tending to school and grocery runs and appliance repairs, I got the call that broke my heart.
My dear sisterfriend is gone.
Suddenly and unexpectedly gone.
And I find myself feeling very, very lost.
My friend was a colleague, a mentor, and a trusted and much beloved friend.
She loved elephants. Last year when I found the print, “Lasso the Moon Together” by the very talented Wyanne, it had her spirit written all over it. She has helped me reach the stars, and I love her to the moon and back. She has lifted so many up to reach their full potential, by believing in them and empowering them and putting them in touch with the right resources. Most of all she has loved us all, just as we are.
Little did she know when she toted leftovers from church to the downtown area to share with folks who might enjoy them all those years ago that she was starting a ministry. One that would be far-reaching and change all of our lives for the better. Because of her being interruptible and unselfish and giving on a Sunday afternoon way back then.
She and her family moved to downtown Macon to live among the folks she cared so much about. The folks she loved knew it. She was not just about the words, she was about action.
I remember one day in particular that she made herself interruptible, taking time away from her job and family to join me in a trip to be family for one of our friends who had finished his rehab program in Statesboro. We laughed and cried together, and if I didn’t know it before that day, I knew it then. She was a kindred spirit. We were sisters who needed each other.
An elephant never forgets, they say.
My sweet, dear sisterfriend, I love you and I will never forget.
I won’t forget the song that plays when I call your number and get your voicemail. “One Life to Love” by 33Miles:
You only get just one time around
You only get one shot at this
One chance to find out
The one thing that you don’t wanna miss
One day when it’s all said and done
I hope you see that it was enough
This one ride, one try, one life to love
I won’t forget how you loved, girl. And how much.
I won’t forget your patience with my littles when we were together. I won’t forget the lessons you taught me about compassion and tough love and how to empower without enabling. I won’t forget how you were a voice for those whose were unable to speak for themselves. Or how you gave so much of your time and hugs and resources to make our community a better place for all of us to live. I will remember how you encouraged me to write my first letter to and later visit our friend who was incarcerated. I won’t forget the smile that the mention of your sweet grandson put on your face. I will always remember how you changed my Aub’s life, not once but twice, caring so much about her future and where she is heading. I won’t forget how generous you were with your thank you’s and that you took time to write handwritten notes to so many of us, an expression of love we will always have. I will remember your wanting to come to Daddy’s funeral and getting lost, bless your heart–but that you wanted to come, that was such a comfort to me. One of the books you suggested I read is one of the big reasons I finally started writing again. (I wish I knew what book you were reading last month that you said I needed to read.) I won’t forget your hugs and your generosity and your words of wisdom. You have taught me so much.
And yet I still have so much to learn.
I’m not ready to let you go.
And yet I must. You have ridden off into a better place. One where no one is hungry or homeless or weeping from the brokenness. I hope you will finally understand and won’t ever forget how precious you are to us. To me. Thursday I will keep our lunch date. I will remember what you have taught me, and I will try to figure out what you planned to say about all that is going on right now. What a jewel you were in our midst, a beautiful, unpolished gem.
Our world seems a little dimmer now, but tonight, as I stand out beneath the sky and look up at the stars, it seems brighter where you are. My life will never be the same, my friend, but know this, you changed me for the better. You not only dreamed of a better world, you got in there with your hands and your feet and your kind, precious heart and made it so.
And that I will never forget.
Love you, D. Well done.
*****Many thanks to my friend Wyanne, a brilliant and talent artist and dear soul, who allowed me to share her artwork with y’all.