Hey Linda, wasn’t it just yesterday that we laughed about how crazy real estate can be, and promised each other we wouldn’t let the stress get to us? Wasn’t it just yesterday we gave up on trying to plan a girls’ dinner because we were just too busy and life got in the way?
Didn’t you show up just yesterday with chips and dip when I was struggling, just to sit with me and give me comfort? I think that’s right. I remember how I couldn’t understand how you just knew when life was getting too tough for me, and how you actually cared about me…took time out of your life, away from your family, to sit with me and try to make me feel better. I felt so blessed, and as though I had just found an unnamed jewel to study. People don’t really do this, do they? People aren’t really this nice, are they?
I remember how your perspective was always kind and charitable, how you always showed me another way of looking at things, as though we just found an unusual sea shell, and standing side by side to study it, you turned it over to point out some things I’d missed. That was yesterday, wasn’t it? And didn’t we have a longer walk planned together? I know we did; I’m sure of it.
I remember how you used to laugh at me when I’d say things just to get you going…how I used to love to hear you laugh and how funny your comebacks were…like they didn’t quite go with that sweet face of yours. You made ME laugh too… yesterday, right? Remember how you would say, “HEY BRENDA!” every time I called you, as thought hearing my voice was the BEST thing to happen to you all day? It wasn’t the best thing, but you made me feel like it was…every time. Every single time.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that we had to postpone our lunch because you felt unwell, and decided to go to the doctor instead? Wasn’t it yesterday that the doctor told you to go to the hospital for testing, because it probably wasn’t good news? Wasn’t it just yesterday that you got the diagnosis that made me cry when you weren’t around, and try harder to make you feel good when you were? Was it yesterday that you and I made an unspoken pact to protect one another by not talking about this place, the one we’re in today? I know it was yesterday; it couldn’t have been more than a day.
I think it was yesterday…that we chose to focus on the OTHER road, the one that took you onward, with your family and friends, to the work you so loved and were so good at, to maybe playing golf with me, and being a grandmother one day. That road, the one where we grew old together as great friends and built funny memories to laugh about later, was the one we chose to envision. We chose to look to a different future than the one at which we arrived today. That was yesterday, wasn’t it, that we had our serious talk and we said we wouldn’t cry after this? I think it was. And we cried anyway. A few times…
It was just yesterday that we prayed together and vowed to believe in miracles and healing, and not talk about death. And it was yesterday, too, wasn’t it, that you told me you were ready, and to pray that God took you quickly, because you were exhausted and the pain was too great? I couldn’t pray that prayer. I’m sorry. I wanted you to stay.
Today, I attended your memorial service, where they showed your life in pictures…pictures it took me a long time to look at because I couldn’t bear it. I saw your childhood, your wedding, your children, your extended family…even I was in one of them. But just YESTERDAY, we were laughing. It WAS just yesterday, wasn’t it? I’m sure it was. I can’t believe this is happening. It’s too fast. It’s not possible, is it?
I can’t believe you are gone. The world is far worse off now than it was just yesterday, because you are no longer in it. But Heaven is better. When I get there, I know you will be there, waiting to show me the way, and I know just what you will say, and how you’ll say it…the same way you did yesterday, and every other time we spoke. And you’ll make me feel like seeing me is the best thing that’s happened to you all day…even though it won’t be.
I will miss you, Linda Miller, my dear friend.