My best friend's mom died today. She'd been battling pancreatic cancer since about February of this year. Despite chemo and radiation, she lost her battle today. The last several weeks had been rough...she was in a lot of pain, thus Amy is thankful that her mom is no longer suffering. However, it is still a painful loss for her, her dad, her brothers and the rest of their family. If you pray, please consider saying a prayer of peace for them.
I will always have wonderful memories of Mrs. M. Amy and I have been friends since third grade, spending much time together and sleeping over at each others' houses. Even into adulthood, whenever Amy and I were together around her mom, she always referred to us as "her girls." I loved that. She was such a sweet, good-hearted person, always ready with a hug and a smile. She always made me feel like I was a valuable part of her family's life, just because I was her daughter's friend.
Amy's parents invited my family to their house this past winter, before she was sick, to watch the Superbowl with them. Their whole family are huge football fans -- Steeler fans -- and so it was such fun to watch the game (and to watch the Steelers win it!) with them. I am so thankful to have that fun, joyful time with Mrs. M. to remember.
I only got to see her one more time after that, after her diagnosis, in late summer. It was clear then that the disease was taking its toll on her, and I felt even more special for her welcoming me into her home at such a time as that.
When I think about Amy's mom, I'm struck by the sad irony of what happened to her. Because of her dad's job, Amy's family moved frequently. Her parents were so looking forward to her dad's retirement when they planned to move back to enjoy time with two of their three children and their only grandchild. And so they did get to do that for a few years, but I find it so sad the time was cut short in this way. It seems so unfair.
I truly believe that God can bring good from all things, no matter how bleak they may be. I don't know how He'll use this sadness in other people's lives, but I know He will. I'm so thankful already that Amy's job allowed her the flexibility to be with her mom almost constantly these last several weeks, so that she could have this sacred time to be with her and to be there for her dad, as well. That is such an immense gift. And throughout it all, I've been so encouraged by God's faithfulness to Amy through the incredible circle of friends she has had around her. She may be single, but she is definitely not alone in this world. Far from it. God is good.
And that is the prayer in all of this, isn't it? God is good. And, as Amy has reminded me in some of the bleakest moments of my life, God is God, and that is all we really need.
Blessings to you, Mrs. M. You will be missed. May you be dancing in His presence until we're all together once more.