If we are very lucky, someone will enter our lives that will imprint themselves so deeply onto our hearts that we will never be the same. I have been blessed in my life with not one but two of those people. They are a husband and wife pair that I met during my first marriage in the church my ex-husband and I attended. Sue and Chuck became fast friends and embodied all that I believe God calls us to be to one another. Their home was always open to anyone and everyone who had need of them.
When I met Chuck was not a proclaimed Christian. He did not really attend church but it was obvious that he was exactly the kind of person that God calls us all to be. I was honored to be involved at the very beginning of his transition into the church and formally becoming what he really truly already was. Chuck quickly became one of my best friends. I was so blessed to be there when he was baptized into the church and loved strolling hand in hand with him down our own spiritual journeys.
When my marriage ended, Sue and Chuck did not take sides. They supported me through that most awful of times and never judged. They opened their home to me and Mini Me to stay should we need it. They alone of that church knew the truth of what happened between my ex-husband and myself.
As time went on and the rest of the church cast me aside I drifted away. I was going through my own spiritual darkness and everything from that time was painful. However, Sue and Chuck never left my heart and my Christian love for them never decreased.
A year and a half ago Chuck was diagnosed with inoperable esophageal cancer. I saw him shortly after that at a benefit hosted for them and he was determined to fight. While he was determined to fight he was also at peace with what his fate may be. I saw him, talked with him and remembered just how much I loved him.
Unfortunately, time has moved too quickly and the cancer is winning. About a week ago Sue messaged me to tell me that the cancer had spread throughout his whole body, they were moving him home for in home hospice and God was calling him home. The extent of my devastation and grief over this news been overwhelming. Even worse was I was extremely sick with my own bronchial infection at the time and could not rush to his side. I prayed fervently that I would get well and God would grant me the chance to see this beloved friend one last time.
Friday evening I was granted that request. I arrived into the house that was like a home and so full of love to see this man who I love so dearly devastated by a horrible disease. And yet, even there among it all there was peace. I was able to sit beside my friend and talk to him. I held his hand, told him I love him and that he has never left my heart. As I sat there beside him, holding his hand while he drifted in and out I realized that I was so blessed to have experienced a love that is the purest, truest, most beautiful of loves with another person. It is not romantic love by any stretch of the imagination but a love that so pure and from God it can only be described as such. A love so beautiful, it hurts.
I want so badly to be mad. To be mad at God, to be mad at myself, to just be mad that such a wonderful person, a wonderful friend must leave us here on this earth. But as much as I try, I can’t be. I can only be filled with peace because my beloved friend is going to get to go home. He will be welcomed into God’s presence with open arms and I cannot be angry about that.
I do not know if I will see Chuck again in this world but as I left Friday I was able to hug him, give him a kiss, tell him I love him and he will live with me forever. He responded by telling him how beautiful I was and how I have always been in his heart. I pray that I will get to see him again before he goes home but if I don’t, I can rest easier knowing that he will, without a doubt, be going home.