On October 14 my dearest friend Becky, who was known as Elizabeth to most people who knew her, passed away suddenly. We have spent the past 23 years sharing our lives with one another. Kindred spirits in many ways, complete opposites in others, but we loved each other enough to accept the differences. Sure we had bumpy roads in our journey of friendship and sisterhood, but we overcame them.
We talked on the phone nearly every day for the last 10 years, at first because she no longer lived close enough for a face to face visit, and then because of work, illness, pain, children, sometimes all at the same time!
There is a void left behind when someone you love is gone from your earthly life. Every single ring of the phone reminds me it will not be her because she is gone. When I have news to tell her, she is not there to share it with. I will never hear her say "Hi Kris, It's Becky" on my answering machine, taking for granted that I could call her back later. Sometimes there are no laters.
Becky was a caregiver with an enormous heart and a tremendous love for Jesus. Her job placed her with people society ignores and hopes to avoid; when we met she was an overnight nurse for a woman in a coma, when she moved away she worked for patients in a hospital for psychiatric illnesses, when she returned here, a job with developmentally disabled adults in declining years, medically fragile souls. She adored them, and watched over them with care and expertise.
She was one of the few people in my life that truly loved Meghan, Kara and Amanda. Her love for them, without conditions, made me care for her even more. Unconditional love is rare, those of us who are loved that way by a friend are unbelievably lucky.
Since Becky passed. one of the church hymns from my youth goes through my mind again and again. Becky was a Born Again Christian, we differed in our belief systems, my being raised LDS conflicted with her religious POV, we had many discussions about it. We both prayed faithfully for one another. :)
I was very sad that hymns were not sung at her service, she listened to her devotional music more than any other kind. This is for my dear friend, even though it is an LDS hymn, I know she would understand:
I Stand All Amazed
Music and Lyrics by Charles H. Gabriel
Music and Lyrics by Charles H. Gabriel
Arrangement and Additional lyrics by Sally DeFord
I stand all amazed at the love
Jesus offers me
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me
Oh, it is wonderful
Wonderful to me
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine
That he should extend his great love unto such as I
Sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify
I think of his hands, pierced and bleeding to pay my debt
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Secure in the promise of life in his victory
Thus ransomed from death I will live to my Savior's praise
And sing of his goodness and mercy through endless days
I am not very good at letting go and saying goodbye, especially not to a beloved friend. These past two months I have had to say goodbye to too many wonderful women, but losing Becky took a piece of my heart.
Make sure you treasure your friends and loved ones, this lifetime is truly over in the blink of an eye. Call someone you have not talked to in a long time and tell them you love them, visit an elderly relative and take the time to listen to their stories, do something to show someone you love and care for them, do it for Becky. I do not know anyone who was a better listener than she. Listening is such a gift.
I am grateful the last words we shared were I Love You.