I lost a dear friend on Friday.
Her name was Gladys. She was a 91 year old lady that I had lived with last year and she was someone I admired for her beautiful heart and spirit. For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about her last night and I cried myself to sleep finally coming to terms with the fact I’ll never see her again. At least in this lifetime.
I wish I could go back in time and spend more time at home with her than all the hours I had spent lesson planning at school. I am filled with regret for not talking to her more than I had. How I wish I could have spent more time talking to her – learning from her. Until last night, I had believed that my main focus and purpose for being placed up north was solely for school.
But I was wrong.
It wasn’t about school at all. It wasn’t about adjusting to my first year as a teacher nor making friends nor joining a curling team.
It was about her. All along, that entire year, it was supposed to be about her.
And it breaks my heart that I was so short-sighted and missed that. All the days that I had spent in front of my computer or buried in a book – I wish I could take it all back and loved her more instead. It makes sense to me now why I believe God placed me in that isolated town, because when I reminisce about that year, what truly mattered to me was my friendship with this lovely woman. That is the only thing that stands out. It is the only thing that I cherish about last year. She taught me so much by how she lived and treated others. And I hadn’t realized how much I had learned from her until now.
I still cannot understand why God placed me there – in that small town, and I just happened to find a place to live in her home (you can read about that story here), in the last year of her life. The last year of her beautiful life. Everything was pre-arranged by God. None of it was planned by me. He wanted me to meet her for a reason. She has changed my life so quietly and so gently. So lovingly. I want to become a better Christian because of her. I want to love people in the ardent and sincere way she did.
I am crying again as I write this. I had taken her for granted. I didn’t know what I was blessed with until she was taken away. I feel foolish for not seeing this blessing. I feel foolish for being distracted by lesser things for an entire year when I could have gained so much more by simply spending more time with her.
How beautiful she was. That’s the only word I feel that best describes her.
I wish you could have met her for yourself. You would have loved her.