As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
8 years ago, I lost my best friend after her courageous battle with ovarian cancer. But, our friendship had begun long before that …
The Start of a Very Special Friendship
I first met Sue at church many, many years ago. In fact, I had walked into the church with baby Ashley in her car seat to meet with someone, and Sue came into our meeting and introduced herself. I knew at once that we would become friends, but I had no idea exactly how close we would become.
It didn’t take long for us to realize that we not only had a great deal in common, but we also sounded a lot alike. At first, we used this for “fun” – making phone calls for each other and tricking our relatives when they would call us and the other one would answer. But, a few years into our friendship, we decided to sing in our church’s Christmas cantata. We were given a solo to share that year. Yes, we sang the same part together. But, it wasn’t long after that we started harmonizing and getting asked to do special music at church.
I had NEVER had the nerve to even think about singing in church (or anywhere else, for that matter). Sue hadn’t either. But there was something about the two of us together that made us feel invincible – like we could do anything if we were side-by-side and Jesus was there too.
Over the years, in addition to singing in church, we also “took our show on the road” – we were asked to sing at various other churches in our community and we even got roped in to singing the National Anthem at our town’s carnival one year (yikes!)
We always had a great deal of fun when we sang together. We were both raising little girls at the time, so we didn’t always have time to get together and practice. We learned to improvise by practicing over the phone – Sue would tape us on her answering machine and play it back so we could listen for any areas that needed polishing, etc.
One year, I won a phone call from one of the singers of a group we covered quite a bit, Point of Grace. The below picture was taken while we were playing around, waiting for that much-anticipated phone call!
Go Rest High on That Mountain
When Sue was first diagnosed with cancer, I remember making plans with her. We would sing together again – a victory song – and we’d have our pictures taken together on a mountaintop (our mountaintop experience). We were sure that she was going to be healed and our lives would go back to “normal.”
But, unfortunately, that wasn’t in God’s plan. And, when Sue was laying in the hospital in her last moments, her family and dearest friends felt the need to “release” her. I remember whispering in her ear that it was OK for her to go, that her parents would be waiting for her and that she’d have such an amazing reunion with them, and that we’d all be OK. And then I told her that we’d sing together again one day.
Sue got her mountaintop experience on March 5, 2010. I’m still waiting for mine.
There are times I can barely make it through the praise songs at church without getting tears in my eyes because I miss her so badly and the words of a certain song just strike me and make me cry.
Somehow singing without her just doesn’t seem right. I miss having her by my side. I miss harmonizing with her and having people tell us how we sounded like family. And I feel like, if I sing without her, I’m somehow betraying her.
I want to sing. And I’ve tried. Last year, miraculously, I made it through all the Easter cantata practices and managed to stand up front and sing in the cantata. This year was a different story.
Maybe I’m being immature or unreasonable, but I am pretty sure God understands my feelings. I still sing from my seat each Sunday in church, I sing at home with my kids, I sing in the shower, and I sing in the car. Maybe someday I will stand up front again and be able to sing. Or maybe not. Time will tell.
This post has been floating around in my head for the past several weeks. I don’t know if I was supposed to write it for me or for someone else who needed it.
If you can relate to this in some way (maybe it’s not singing, but maybe there’s something else that you have trouble doing with a loved one that you once shared it with), I’m sorry! It’s not an easy road, but it is one filled with overcoming! If you need to chat, I’m here – and I understand.
If you can’t relate to this post, then I hope you take one thing away from it – don’t just assume that the people around you are OK. People might look fine on the outside, but we never, ever know what’s going on with someone on the inside. So, guard your words. Consider the 4 guards – is it true? it is kind? is it necessary? it is wise? If your words can’t pass these 4 guards, keep them to yourself.