Today my best friend has tears in her eyes. Her body shakes with grief. She cries. I do my best to comfort her. I hug her, I talk quietly, I speak from my heart. I know her so well. She listens to me.
On Monday I woke to words I didn’t recognize. This “best friend” of mine, the one I cherish so much had just lost her brother to a chronic condition. One I know as well or better than most. She was still in shock of course. For her and her family it was “sudden.” For me, I knew it had been coming.
“It didn’t have to be this way,” I thought to myself. And yet, I dare not judge. For me, more than most, knows how one can do everything right and still have everything go wrong. Yet here I don’t believe it to be the case. My friend has confided in me about her brother. We’ve talked during shopping in the afternoons or during lunch.
My good friend feel’s “guilty” for the loss of this brother she loved so much. Yet it was in God’s hands. He had a plan. She might have loved her brother more than he did himself. She gave him encouragement, words of support and most of all love every day from her heart.
My friend often said, and was afraid of this too, that her brother didn’t take care of his body, didn’t care for himself the way that he should. This weighed heavy on her mind. Still, it was never her burden to carry. I tried to tell her so. She pushed him along; she tried to make him strong. Whatever the reason he never had the will, the fight to be strong.
This is hard for me to write. So close to home for me you see. I know this chronic condition, the good and the bad, the happy and sad. Every day can be a new trial, a new corner to turn. One can never let it go, not for a single minute. Those who live with it would like to, I know. In my family, “attitude” is the opposite of my friend’s brother. Such a difference it makes! It is everything in life. Ask anyone. They will tell you so.
I pray to God to rid my cherished friend of guilt, to take away her pain, to remember her brother with only love again. My belief is life is God’s gift to all, no matter what trials we’ve been given. Look around. See lovely birds and listen to their sweet sound. Walk barefoot in the soft spring grass or catch a glimpse of new buds bursting forth on a young branch. Smell the scent of wild flowers in the forest or along a freshly painted fence. Dance in the garden or walk along a new path. Hear cherished children’s giggles.
Love and thank God for what you’ve been given.