Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gone, But Not Ever Forgotten

 Two things you never have to chase: True Friends and True Love.  (Mandy Hale)

     #Friendship.  There’s nothing like it.  True friends will always be by your side; without prompting continue to push you towards your goals (even when you don't want to), support you when you’re down and cheer the loudest  when you succeed. 
     Friendship is like any other serious relation in our lives.  You must nurture it, savor it and not take it for granted.  Life gets busy, creating chaos that seems never ending.  It’s during these times friends are needed the most.  Laughter always makes the day brighter.   
     From the result of a Christmas card being mailed after the holidays, I received some terrible news several days ago. 
     What happened that the Christmas card got mailed late?  In the mist of recovering from Hurricane Matthew, everything in my office haphazardly were boxed up.  It took me several attempts of searching to find my address book.  (Yes, I still have one of those.)       Home from work, in the middle of dinner, I noticed a missed call displayed on my cell phone.  I dismissed it as a telemarketing call.  On the verge of hitting delete, a soft, gentle voice cautioned me to stop and look again.  Mind elsewhere, I played the message.  The male's voice of the caller, immediately caused my heart to squeeze.  No longer with an appetite, I pushed my dinner plate away from me as tears filled my eyes and I frantically pressed re-dial.  
     "Rebecca," the male voice paused no doubt to keep his composure. "I received your very nice Christmas card in the mail today.  I know your not aware," he paused again voice trembling.  The catch in his voice was unmistakable.  "Angie passed almost a year ago." 
     Shocked and teeming with disbelief I cannot recall what I said next.  Everything became a blur as reality sunk.  Denial would not allow me to accept it as true until I remembered for the past two years I did not receive a Christmas card from Angie. 
     I sat and listened intently, as my dear late friend's husband explained what took place.  It all began November 2014 he told me.  The exact same weekend Angie and I were to meet up at Seagroves Pottery festival.  She didn't make the trip that year, she was feeling a little under the weather.  She went to the doctor, had surgery, some months later still not feeling any better she went back to the doctor for some more test.  Spring 2015 she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  When she passed, she was only 56.
    Hearing the words echo through my mind, I remember squeezing my eyes closed remembering the one's in my community, church and family whom had been diagnosed with the same disease. 
    Over the past year, Angie had been on my mind a lot.  At the oddest times I would think of her, wondering how she was doing.  I know now my conscience was urging to call her.  Letting life keep me busy I ignored it.  Has this ever happened to you? 
     I can still hear her laughter, see her radiant smile and see her straight shoulder length brown hair bouncing as she walked.  Her eyes still twinkling when she talked about her family and grandson. 
     I always thought of her while shopping and happen upon a display of the Willow Tree Angels.  Angie loved antiques, homemade quilts and Willow Tree Angels.  Angie sent me one the year I graduated from college.  (Pictured below) Sign for Love.  In remembrance of Angie I'm going to add to my collection.    
     Guilt and shame stayed with me long after the call ended.  I’m still affected by it.  Angie lived only an hour away from me, yet I should have done a better job at keeping in touch.  I should have made the time to visit her more often. 
     Has someone crossed your mind lately?  A family member?  An old friend.  If so I encourage you to reach out to them today.  You can’t get back missed opportunities.       

     My friend is gone but, she lives forever in my heart and memories. 


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