When We Met
Please save me. I am drowning. LA’s death has been a HARD thing for me to blog about….but I keep thinking if I get out my thoughts, through my fingertips….maybe I can get the images out of my mind.
LA…..we met when our boys were playing baseball when they were about 8. She had two kiddos. Our boys are the same age, and then she has a daughter the same age as my 5th son. I remember walking into the baseball park, finding N’s team, and then seeing this woman sitting on the top of the bleachers.
She had a little bob haircut, and her hair was bleached blonde. Honestly, she looked like a baby. She was way too young to have an 8- and 3 yr old at the time. She had on a white t-shirt and ripped jeans. Sitting beneath her was this skinny man with this awesome mustache and his brown-haired wife. They were all smoking, loud, fussing at each other, laughing, cheering, and eating. My 5th child took a liking to the brown-haired lady, and every time I turned around, she gave him food. I would give D a stern look, and she would pipe up, “don’t you fuss at that baby. He didn’t ask. He just looked hungry.”
LA and Her Curiosity
The bleach-blonde girl would cackle, and I’d roll my eyes thinking, she is my spirit animal. Rough around the edges, spirited, funny, family-oriented, and LOUD. We hit it off and began an intense friendship of discovery.
LA, through the lens she saw my life, was curious. She was asked a lot of questions about my life, my marriage, my parenting, and my faith. Her kids and my kids hit it off. We all hit it off with her parents and her brother. It was fun. It was crass at times cause that is how they roll, in a vat of sarcasm and love.
We were friends for about 10 yrs; through incredible ups of leading her to Christ in the park and her dyeing my hair to the deepest of lows with alcohol, drug addiction, and mental illness. I have loved her through every moment we knew each other. There was a point where those moments consumed me like a fire. There were times when I would stay up late. I talked with her and tried my best to pull her into the light of healing. I was doing the job that Christ needed to do.
When She Fell and Letting Go
What I see now, on the back end of things, is that she didn’t eat the bottom of the barrel when she fell. She hit my face. I loved her and her children and family, so I placed myself at the bottom of that barrel, so she never had the opportunity to see Jesus directly. She saw Him because she loved Him and was His child, but she did see Him in that face of darkness and despair. I wanted control because I thought I could fix it all and make her better.
My husband had encouraged me to back away. Not to disappear, not to stop loving, not to stop praying, but I had to allow her to meet her Jesus and find her healing and wholeness in Him and not me. That was hard. I met some very dark days, as well. Sometimes she would need me, and I would rearrange everything to go to her and love her and leave my kids and their issues behind.
It is sad to say that reprioritizing my life, submitting to my husband, and what I know to be Scripturally correct was letting LA deal with things alone….without me swooping in to rescue her. My heart was good because I love her so much, and I love those babies so very much, but our friendship was in the way of her relationship with Jesus. I was a stumbling block.
Swirl of Love
As the years waned in and out, we would have good laughs at memories and catch up with the kids, and she started becoming healthier in her mind and other areas. What proved to me that listening to Jesus was right was when she called me up out of the blue and said: “I need you.” Mind you; this was probably 8 or 9 years into our friendship. She wanted to come to the house. She needed me, and I could hear in her voice the clarity. I did not hear that foggy voice of addiction. I told her to come, and we would talk.
She walked up to my porch, and the swirl of love and respect for each other encompassed us. It was like not a minute had passed since we had seen each other. She was clear-eyed, had a clear voice, and was very strong. There was such a strength in her. She sat down and explained what was going on to Bart and me, and we all just sat there and stared at each other, thinking, “oh crap….what is going to happen, and how can we help.” She needed to talk about an issue. There had been an issue with her precious son. In a moment of fogginess, the love she had for that baby, regardless of the situation, was written all over her face.
She had forgiven, instantly, the things that had happened and was prepared to do whatever she could to help her son get the help he needed, and she did. She fought an excellent fight, and she and her mom won. He received what he needed, and though the situation was terrible, in a stranger’s view, it was just a moment to her. A mistake happened. We all make them; he is no different, and she loves and believes in him and his sister. I was so proud of her and her resolve. I think the only other thing I was prouder of was when she received Christ, but this one was a close second!
Save Me I am Drowning
Now, to see my friend, so desperate, again, and I was unaware this time. The phone call from her mom stopped my world from spinning. Honestly didn’t believe her until I heard her substantial voice crack. I could hear her crying over the phone. Just typing and thinking about that sends this electric emotion through me. I can’t stop thinking of all the “what ifs.” My last image of my friend was looking at her beautiful face. She was so calm and sincere. I brushed her freshly washed hair and braided it. All while she lay on that table after she took her life.
I Will Never Forget
I will never get those images out of my head. Ever. I will never forget hugging her mom, son, daughter, and brother. I will never forget it. Never. I washed her face, brushed her hair, and painted her fingernails the perfect color of pink. I will never forget it.
One moment of despair.
A moment of feeling alone.
Finally, a moment of being alone, physically.
Ten seconds away from her mom and children.
Her life was over.
She met Jesus face to face.
Please please please remember
You are NEVER alone.
God is ALWAYS with you.
You are LOVED beyond measure.
Help is a PHONE CALL 24 HOURS A DAY away.
There is always a joy to be found somewhere; even if it is so minimal, there is still joy.
Please seek help from a counselor, the hotline, a pastor, a friend, or a family member.
Please do not choose a path that leaves the family with many unanswered questions and pain.
You ARE WORTHY.