Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life is just too short.

Do you ever have those events that come along in your life that seem so innocent or inconsequential at the time, but later you discover they are life changing moments?  Uh huh.  Me too.

Last week I lost a friend.  Nothing unusual, right?  We've all lost someone, somewhere at some time in our lives.  Sometimes it's a close relative and it shakes our world but we understand that because it's family.  After all, when Grandma or Uncle Fred or the neighbor down the street dies, it's sad, maybe even tragic, but it's part of life.  Usually it's expected.  They were old, had cancer, or even had a history with risky behavior and dangerous living.  While it's still sad, it's not totally surprising or unexpected.  But every once in a while, one comes along that just feels like you've been sucker punched.  Cut off at the knees.  Blindsided. 

Susan we a friend to me.  She prayed for me. We traded jokes online. We called ourselves "sisters" along with 14,998 others in our online community.  She lived in Florida.  I live in Texas.  We met once, face to face at a retreat a couple of years ago.  I didn't get to spend a lot of time with her but I did meet her, even gave and got a hug.  In the modern day business world, I would have described her as an associate.  Even a friendly associate.  But last week while home alone, Susan passed away.  Suddenly and very unexpectedly.  She left behind a husband and two grown daughters.  I found out Tuesday morning and by Tuesday afternoon, I had cried more than once.  It would not be the last time over the next couple of days.  More than once I've sat down trying to figure out why her death has hit me so hard.  We were friendly but it's not like we were best friends.  Was it because she was so friendly?  Was it because she was a true prayer warrior for many of my friends?  Or was it because it was so very expected?  Was it because it could have been me?

I haven't quite figured it out yet but I do know that I'm not alone.  Many of my "sisters" have said that her death also hit them harder than they expected.  I do know this:  I will miss Susan, but more than that, I will miss her prayers.  I know that my own nightly prayer list has gotten longer and more detailed this week.  I try to remember everyone I've said "Yes, I'll pray for you" so I can mention them by name. Truth be told, I hope I remember this feeling for a long time and I hope it keeps me on my praying knees a bit more than it used to.

So if you're the praying type, say a prayer for me.  I'll say one for you too.