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.


One thought on “Heartbreak

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about this.. I remember how much you cared about her simply just by the way you talked about her and described her. Although she’s gone, she has made such a huge impact on your life. You can only stop and look back on those wonderful memories, but at the same time, I’m sure she’s watching down on you right now and smiling thinking of how wonderful and beautiful -you- are! The people who come into our lives are there for a reason, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that you’ve learned so much through her. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we do not realize what we have until we lose it… but at the same time, you carry forth a part of her with you for the rest of your life. And you can look back and smile at all those things about how she’s made you into the person you are today!

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