Walking the walk
Mid-summer in 2011 I was faced with an experience that one rarely prepares for. I received a call from a friend who worked at the main hospital in our area because a good friend of mine was met with a very difficult situation and needed help. The details surfaced and when I found her, she was sitting in the company of her second oldest daughter who was in a car accident. She was stroking the leg of her daughter’s body, whose life was taken as the vehicle she was driving flipped over onto her ejected body. The outward beauty was turned to a color and disproportioned body that I had ever experienced.
I eased myself gently beside my friend and whispered in her ear “How ya doing?” I really didn’t know what to say, so I was just trying to sum up how she was holding up. She was in shock. She was absorbing what had happened and feeling the sudden loss of her child. An experience I never wish for any parent. I asked her if I could pray at that moment for her and for what was to come in the days ahead. She responded yes with a nod of her head. God gave me the words. I had not planned out a script for this, so I was completely dependent on him for the words in that moment, and he came through. She whispered thank you and continued to rub the leg of her daughter.
I jumped right in. I offered to do whatever she needed. I had food prepared and delivered to their home and supported my friend in every way I could think of. I had the privilege of making the funeral programs and helped prepare the honoring of her daughter’s life as she entered into the season of eternity.
It took her some time to grieve the loss of her daughter. I am sure we can all understand this. We stayed as close as our schedules have allowed, and then once again, she was faced with her youngest daughter facing a life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, her daughter lost the battle to her illness, I stayed right there until I knew my friend was standing on her own two feet again.
Even now we connect as often as we can. And while losing her second child was a blow, she had time to process before the loss than her first child. While it was still not easy to say goodbye, we had the script this time. I was honored to make the programs again, as I was able to make them like the first daughters, and now the two girls are together only a few years apart.
I don’t know what the future holds for either of us or what road we will walk. I know for sure that I will always be there for her and she will be for me. When I asked her to write about her side of this experience knowing that she may not be able to, this is what she responded with.
“Angie has seen me through the sorrow. She has helped me crawl out of the depths of grief and shared the highest joys. She has held my hand, she has encouraged, at times pushed harder than I wanted, but always forward. Thank you, Angie, for crawling in the pit with me. Thank you, Angie, for being a lifeline to me all these years.”
I have walked this road more times than I care to share. They are not easy, but it has shown me that when the script of any situation enters my heart or mind, I embrace it. I start planning and am constantly getting ready for that which might come. Even if I don’t believe it will.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4