Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Love Story

Usually I try to keep my blog pretty light and fun, a little personal, but not too much so as not to bore anyone to tears! Today, though, is different. Different because I am going to maybe say too much because I love my good, dear friend Amy pictured here. She has been my best friend for so long, and we have been friends for 17 years now! She was in my wedding, and I was her matron-of-honor when she married her husband Stuart, almost nine years ago.(This picture is really fuzzy because it's actually a picture of a picture. This picture was taken before they were even married.)
Today is also different because one year ago today, Amy's husband Stuart passed away. He lost his seven month battle with brain cancer, and Amy lost her husband. I was there with her and their other family and friends when he slipped away, and it was a LONG, HARD day.

I was actually never that close to Stuart, even though I knew him before Amy met him. In fact, I never even really knew how amazing and giving he really was until his memorial service. I did know he was an absolutely great foster father to the foster children he and Amy had, two of which they chose to become the legal guardians of. At the service, someone said that Stuart lived like someone who didn't have a very long time to live. I have wondered since what would happen if I lived more like this...maybe I'd play with the kids more, laugh more with friends, worry less about the little, unimportant things like how the garden looks or how clean the house is.

It sounds a little strange, but death has taught me so much about life. This year I have watched as my friend works her way through the grief process, and wonder, does it ever really end? How do you get to a point where you're past all of it? I would have to say that Amy is one of the strongest people I have ever known. Not because she never has a hard time, but because she will not give up. She has lost her husband but continues to raise their one last foster child on her own. It has been the most lonely, difficult year of her entire life, but she has not lost her faith in God. This just amazes me. I have to look deeper into my heart than I really even want to and ask if I'd be able to say the same thing about myself. It's so easy to say you love God when everything is going well, but what if everything I held onto slipped right through my hands? I am a little afraid of what the answer would be.

But I watch my friend, and she remains faithful. She gets up every morning and goes to work. She takes care of her son. She continues to be a good friend to everyone around her. And I really don't know how she does it. So Amy this is for you. Because I so much hope and pray things turn around for you and that you find happiness again!


Our Complete Family said...

What a special person your friend, Amy, is! And what a wonderful friend you are to honor her with these kinds words today. This will truly make her heart smile when she needs it most. Your comment, "death has taught me so much about life" is so very true, isn't it? That is very profound and really makes me think... I held my Mom's hand as she died 3 years ago and until I read your comment I don't think I realized that that is exactly how I feel. Amazing. Please tell your sweet friend I will be saying lots of prayers for her and sending happy wishes her way. Yours, too! ~ Les

Anonymous said...

I This was a touching post. I pray daily for a faith like Amy has. It is so easy to say you have faith when things are good, but it is in the valley of our life where our true test of faith begins ~

Thank you for sharing your friend with us today, and I pray that God holds her close.

Our Complete Family said...

Jenni~ I am SO GLAD that your fam liked it, too! Did the kiddos look at super funny at first though?!? ;) Yea for a new recipe, hu? I'll have to pop some more easy ones on the blog! Happy night to you hun~ Les

cherry said...

The fact that you openly shared this to honour your friend is sooo sweet. I would have to say Amy and you are both special. It is good to know that you have each other. Death makes you hold what you have left closer to you. We were held up last night for over a hour coming home from the beach because of a wreck and I just found out that there were two fatalities. One of which was a Mom...the children survived. I just can't imagine. Life is just a tenous thread. Sooo fragile. I will pray for Amy...I am glad her faith is strong. cherry

Anonymous said...

Jenni, thank you so much for that beautiful post about Stuart! You are my dearest friend and I hope you know how much I love you. I'm in tears as I just read those wonderful words you wrote about us. It means more to me than I can say. And I'm so thankful for everyone's prayers...they're working! :)