As I stepped into the hospital room I saw my friend ,without her wig on for the first time.
I knew how sick she was but it faded in my memory from day to day because her fight to endure each day was done with such grace.
She celebrated the wig buying rather than mourned- at least to me she did. She even sent me a glamor shot to show me how good it looked.
But today, with no hair and yellowed skin I was conscious of just how ill she was.
She was a bit breathless as we talked but a smile crept across her face as she asked about each of the girls- the girls from bible study and my girls.
She was still focused on everyone else.
Finally I asked how things were going and she started explaining to me that she would not agree to any other treatment.
She said, “ Autumn, I've done my best with this. I've fought it and I've kept my head up but I'm tired. I'm not doing so good. I'm ready to go.”
There was no bitterness in her tone-just a quiet settled assurance to me that she was finished here.
As tears crept out of my eyes I told her we were not supposed to be doing this right now. How can we be saying goodbye so quickly?
We hugged and talked about how much fun we had in this short 7 or so years.
“You girls are so special to me! You taught me something about love and taking care of each other that I have never known before. I don't know what I would have done without you all.”
Those words will stay with me for a long time.
It was an unlikely friendship to be formed.
When Caroline first came to our Friday morning meetings , I didn't expect her to stay. Likely she didn't expect to come back,but she did. Like all friendships we had challenges but Caroline was one of us- unlikely or not- she had a place in our group and it was a special place.
Over the past 4 or so years she has been compiling a directory for us. On any given month several children would get a birthday card from Ms Caroline. She was so careful to remember each one of us with a card. When we hosted our first VBS, Ron and Caroline were enthusiastic and supportive.
She spoke often of her grandchildren and sought to find resources to help lead them to the Lord.
Though she physically bore no children of her own, she was surrounded by dozens who were her own,just the same.
Friday mornings will be difficult; her presence will be missed.
She sought to glorify God in everything and through these teary eyes it appears that she did.
She will be missed.