A Painful Loss

I wasn’t planning on posting again today, since I already did a health post, but this evening I was stunned by the news that my friend Sarah had passed away, and I feel so bereft I can’t think of anything to do except write about it.

Sarah used to be a neighbor of ours. She lived down the street from us in a little white house, where she was raising and homeschooling her granddaughter, who was about the same age as my daughter Mercy. We were in the same homeschool group.

Sarah was an old-fashioned southern lady. Conversations with her took a long time, because she spoke very slowly and deliberately, and with a charming southern drawl. She was unfailingly polite, always kind, and always positive, despite the fact that through all the years I’ve known her, she has suffered from severe chronic pain and a host of health problems.

Despite her many challenges, we could count on seeing her every year when we went to vote, because she always helped out at the local polling place. She greeted everyone with a smile.

Several years ago, Sarah began reading my blog, back when I still blogged over at Xanga. Somehow, reading my little vignettes about our family life led to her becoming very interested in our family. She prayed faithfully for us over the years. When my daughters went on mission trips, she gave sacrificially from her meager income to help support them.

When Mary and Jordan were first married (and penniless), Sarah sent them money every month to help pay for them to do some of their laundry at the laundromat, so Mary wouldn’t have to do it all by hand. I knew that any time I asked Sarah to pray for something, she would pray faithfully! And once when I posted something about not having transportation to go to an event, she insisted on loaning me her car.

The last time I saw Sarah was on November 28. That was the day Jasper and I delivered the poinsettias he’d sold as part of his 4-H fundraiser. Sarah hadn’t ordered one, but I wanted her to have one, so I got one for her. I also took a bag of my private recipe spiced chai mix, because I knew how she loved it. We had a bit of trouble finding her apartment (she moved years ago) but in the end we located it and knocked on her door.

It would be hard to imagine a more surprised and grateful lady than Sarah was on that night. She had been feeling very “low” and lonely (and in a great deal of pain) and she burst into tears when she saw us standing there with flowers and chai mix. I think she was often lonely in recent years, once her granddaughter grew up and moved out. I am so sorry I didn’t make more of an effort to spend time with her.

I can’t be sad for her, of course. I picture her standing straight, walking without a cane, and stepping forward with joy to greet her Savior. It’s me I’m sad for—and for all the people who never had a chance to meet and know Sarah. She had a radiant soul, and I will miss her.


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