The Loss of My Best Friend


     I know it’s been a while since I’ve been here, much has happened this past month.  First and foremost I’ve lost my very best friend in the world.  She was only 46 and I feel lost without her.  I ended up going straight from her funeral to the hospital and I’ve only been home a couple of days.  I haven’t much felt like writing.  I’m completely uninspired.  I wrote the eulogy for her funeral and I’m going to reprint it here.  As always thank you for reading and comments are welcome.

    My name is Lynda, but you wouldn’t recognize it if you ever heard Michelle talk about me, you would know me as Queenie, the name she gave me.  I’d like to tell you about my friend.  She was my sister, not by blood, but by our hearts and souls.

     We couldn’t have been more different her and I.  She was a low maintenance woman, and me, well let’s just say not so much.  I am the picture of a high maintenance woman at least that’s what I’m told.  Evidently, I couldn’t pass for low maintenance if I tried.  In fact the people that know me tell me not to even bother.  Let’s face it, she called me the queen for a reason.  I think that’s why we were destined to be friends, we balanced each other.  I’ll always have her with me, because of Michelle I’m a better wife to my husband, a better mother to my children, and a better friend.  I have certain people in my life because of Michelle, her friends became my friends.

      I thought she was a complete flake, but something kept drawing me to her, and the more I got to know her the more I realized how intelligent she was.  Not just intelligent, she had wisdom, the kind of wisdom that comes from living life in a way that’s honest and true.

     I learned so much from her, when Michelle loved you, she loved you for life, and I never knew anyone more open to giving her love, and it didn’t stop there.  If she loved you she took care of you.  She loved my entire family and when I was in the hospital and couldn’t take care of them myself, she stepped in.  My family was her family and they came to love her too.  She was generous with her time and attention always putting other’s needs a head of her own.

     In the short time we had together, I was in and out of the hospital, mostly in.  She was there for every surgery, and every illness.  When I was in a coma, she was in the ER with me, holding my hand.  She was in my home making dinner for my family, because of her I am a better more generous person.   Not 4 months after the coma I was told I had a tumor in my pancreas’s that was undoubtedly cancer.  It was 2 weeks before I could get to the surgeon in Indianapolis.  She called or came by every day, and before too long she took the crucifix from around her neck and put it on mine.  When I protested that she loved it too much to loan it to me she simply said that she loved me more. I’ll always believe that it was Michelle that started the prayer chain that made the surgeon unable to find the tumor to biopsy that he had so clearly seen on the cat scan the day before.  Last year I was sick with a life-threatening infection in my blood stream that required me to be transferred to a hospital in Indianapolis for a week that required yet more surgery and Michelle never left my side.

      I learned humility from Michelle.  Material things simply didn’t matter to her; she was just as content washing the dishes in the bathtub as she was in the kitchen sink.  I, on the other hand required a dishwasher.  If she had a book and her guitar that was all she needed to be happy, that and the many friends and family that she loved so dearly. She had her own room in my house and yet more often than not she would find her in bed with me, up all night laughing and talking and giggling like a couple of teenagers, usually with my husband begging for quiet so he could sleep.

     We spent a day in Chicago at the International Housewares Show.  We figured we walked 20 miles that day, I finally had something I could do for her.  We met our favorite celebrity chefs, they were like rock stars for us.  When we got off the train in Indiana, muscles we didn’t know we had were begging for mercy yet it was one of the best days either one of us ever had,  I can’t tell you what a privilege it was to be a part of “one of her best days ever.”

     In this past year I’d never seen her happier or look more beautiful.  She was living close to her children and spending more time with her mom and was more content than I’d ever known her to be.  All of this is the legacy she left and I, for one will always honor that.  I’ll leave you with this quote about friendship, author unknown:

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.”

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4 thoughts on “The Loss of My Best Friend

  1. So sorry to hear about your best friend Michelle … sounds like you really had a very special friendship … and I can see that the loss of your friend has left a gap. Hope you have fully recovered from the kidney infection and are regaining your strength now.

    In your comment over on my post I loved this statement, “I’ve only been blogging for 2 years and it’s been a great way for me to process all that is happening to me.” I can so relate to that because that so much reflects the purpose of blogging in my life. Well said.

    I also agree with your thought, that when you are open and transparent. God will use that to help connect you with others who are going through the same or similar problems and reveal His true love to you through others. What’s the risk in a few backfires when love is at stake?

    I am subscribed and look forward to hearing more about your journey. Once again, my sympathies to you in the midst of your personal loss. May God comfort you and give you peace.

    God bless!!!

    Bernie

    • I feel like you “get me.” One more example of my Lord connecting me with another, the first time I tag surfed I found your blog and your post about your colostomy. You wrote with such grace and humor. Thank you for your kind words I look forward to getting to know you and your family better. My prayers are with you and your family.

  2. This is such a moving eulogy and you truly honored your friend. I think God allows our loved one to see the special moments and she was pleased with your words that honored her, demonstrating such love and what friendship is all about.

    She sounds like she was an amazing – outstanding woman ..the kind of person that people are better off for having known them. I am sure she would’ve felt the same toward you.

    I can relate to so much of what you write. You are a gifted writer and am glad you are feeling re-inspired.

    I am so glad I was there helping my friend Iris as much as I did from spring to her passing. I hate that we had a fight – 2 …after the last appt she had and I did not know it was the CA talking and she touched on an extremely hurtful issue that she had sincerely apologized for back in 1989 and instead was blaming me. I should’ve realized something was wrong. She was still a normal weight and while I was having concerns about her increasing weakness and confusion …no one else seemed to be and her dying suddenly was a shock and perhaps merciful so she did not go thru the more hideous things that could’ve happened. Thankfully I was able to spend a lot of time with her the last days of her life and we said I love you and I read scriptures and I know did help her in many ways. I thank God for the ability to have been able to be with her… and to have made a difference.

    You and your friend, Michelle have been that for each other.

    I love the lying in bed together. reminds me of Christina and Meridith who are each other’s person and often lying in each other’s bed. Your husband is amazing to allow that. 🙂

    I miss another friend, Pat …who was disabled with idopathic cardiomyopathy for almost a decade and on oxygen …and we’d be up late at night talking into the wee hrs once for almost SEVEN hrs via phone …talking and laughing and all the things friends say. I wrote about her in April 2008, right after she died. I’ve written elsewhere about her. She was a friend and mentor.

    Iris was my childhood friend ..my closest ..by history. I shared Christian faith with both of them. Iris died Oct 11, and I can’t tell you how many times I have had the thought to call her throughout the day on most days. She was my 1st go to person …or during times I was off and not seeing her …I always knew she was there. My grandchildren have totally made this more bearable than it otherwise would be ..but I do get my teary moments even tho I know she is in a better place.

    Your day special day at the housewares show sounds like it was a lot of fun. I have no doubt you were a gift from God to each other. 🙂

  3. Thank you Seaspray from the bottom of my heart. You get it. Michelle and I had a hurtful fight too, one that we talked about and made complete peace with. It’s hard not to think about it now, but I know Michelle would not want to let that one moment in time define our friendship.

    I understand about wanting to pick up the phone to call Iris, I have that with Michelle, in fact I’ve even called her cell phone just to hear her voice on her voice mail (her daughter has the phone now)

    On those days that Michelle and I would be up all night giggling and philosofizing about the meaning of life all night, those were the nights my long-suffering husband slept on the couch.

    I love that we’re getting to know each other and I feel a kinship towards you that I’ve never had with a fellow blogger. Thank you

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