As I was writing my last blog on Thursday night, I received a text from my friend, Lynn.
“So ridiculous! You were in my home–on your birthday–and not a mention of it from us to you! 😦 Sadly, I didn’t even realize it was, until tonight!!! Sweet friend, I’m so glad you reached your stretch goal–I keep missing these deadlines! I’ll look forward to the book pre-order when the time comes. Love you and see you tomorrow!
I texted back,
No worries! I love you, friend! ❤
But she didn’t receive it.
I went to her home the next morning, which I did every Wednesday and Friday, to assist her in homeschooling her sweet six children, three of whom were adopted. To my shock, her precious husband told me that his wife, my dear friend, passed away in her sleep.
The next 48 hours were filled with unbearable grief. Questions. Anger. All night I wept, cried, then tried to remember every detail of every memory with her over our 10 year relationship. Then the process started again. Weep, cry, remember, repeat. The tears knew no end.
I especially wanted to remember my last day with her. She was wearing a Sunergos Coffee TShirt-I brought Sunergos tea with me-so we joked about that. Her hair was up. She answered the door with her baby on her hip. The dog was in the way, so we told Scout to scoot. I tried to get the baby to come to me, but he turned away and snuggled into his mama. Then he gave me a silly smile. She commented that he was a stinker. I was amazed that her special needs daughter was singing a song confidently from her Classical Conversations curriculum about the history of the world. She said their brains are like little sponges, and we both talked about how amazing the curriculum is. She was trying to get schooling back into a rhythm after getting home from vacation. She copied a schedule for me. At one point I was looking for a pencil, so she asked one of the children to help me. She was on her way out the door with all of her darlings, ages 8 to 1, when I left. She had them sit on the steps while speaking with me. We commented on what a great job the construction workers were doing on the house across the street. Then I left.
In every memory I can recall, one thing is present: humility. Lynn didn’t put on some mask like she had it all together, as many moms do. She welcomed people in for help. Six children, including 2 special needs darlings, are a lot of work. Grandmothers, fellow teachers, therapists, house cleaners, friends…she invited us into her daily life, where dishes were always in the sink-and there was likely a pile of laundry to fold. Her self-sufficiency and perfectly tidy house meant nothing to her.
People meant everything to her.
People who used dishes and needed their clothes washed. People who dropped by needing encouragement and a cup of tea. People who loved her because she loved them. I am one of those people.
Because of Lynn’s humility, there is an army of helpers who know her routines…who deeply love her sweet little ones…who are aware of each child’s needs. Our friend gave us this gift.
Now we get to humbly serve in a greater capacity, as Lynn modeled for us so well. There will be more tear-stained grief, but it is hopeful grief. She is seeing her Savior face to face. Lynn is not weeping. Her tears have met their end with a final stroke from her Shepherd’s gentle hand. And ours will, too.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 ESV)