Bittersweet

Today is a bittersweet day.

My dear friend Vickie is moving to Nevada.

That sentence is wonderful in many ways. Both of her sons and their wives live there now. Her precious grandchildren are there as well. There is much sunshine and warm weather where she is going, something she has struggled without during the 20 something years she has lived here in The Mitten. She and her husband are from California. Michigan is not their home, was never really their home. But the job was here, and here they remained. Her husband Gary has retired, they are now free to go. And today is the day.

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It’s a good day! I am thrilled for them, I know how difficult it has been for their loved ones to be there while they have been here. There is only sweetness for their entire family.

And yet there is a sadness.

I am going to miss this lady.

She has been one of my favorite kisses on the cheek from a really good God.

We met at a church that no longer exists. We only went there for about 4 1/2 years but it was a place where we made many life long friendships. It was a special time, unlike any we have known before or since. It is still amazing to me how God used those 4 1/2 years to impact our lives.

Her boys were in elementary school, I was a mother of preschoolers. I was drawn to her because she was just enough ahead of me to be a source of wisdom and advice. Her boys were so sweet. She and her husband were funny. I just liked them all!

And she always had really good advice. Godly advice.

Proverbs 12:26
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. (NLT)

Our friends, Caregroup and family were wonderful after our car accident in 1995. Really, God had orchestrated a whole network of support in those 4 short years. Support that was as strong and all encompassing as spanx! We needed each and every one of them. I look at them all as God’s provision, His powerful right arm, upholding us when we could not stand under the crushing weight that had become our life. Vickie was a strong thread in that group.

She has been a faithful thread in all the years since. I have joked that she has been a counselor to me in years past, only it’s not really a joke. I had a lot of stuff to work through.

 Proverbs 27:9
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. (NLT)

We have shared our ups and downs, our highs and lows, our joys and sadness. We have waded through a lot of life together. She has listened to me share my heart and fears about too many situations and topics to even recall. She helped me to clean our house for years after the accident. I always looked forward to those days, we worked but we had lunch and always good conversations. I always knew that we would have a good visit when she came to get her hair done, once a month, like clockwork.

She always shared what she was learning from God, always left me with plenty to think about and verses that I could apply directly to my immediate situation.

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (NLT)

She spoke God’s truth. She challenged my thinking. She has prayed for us. She has invested in me as a mentor and a friend. She never made me feel like I was a chore for her.

I love her heart, her kindness, her family and her relationship with God, our firm foundation in this world.

We have exchanged Skype and Facetime names. Of course we already have e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers.

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Whenever a pastor or speaker asks me to picture someone who has invested in me or made an impact in my life, she is always one of the people who comes to mind. They always say to send that person a card or call them. Let them know how much you appreciate them, how you recognize how they have built into your life, how God has used them in a mighty way to help you become the person you are. Tell them.

I’m telling her.

Thank you, Dear Friend.

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6 Comments

  1. Cindy Stratton said,

    July 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    How sad – but good.

  2. Nan C said,

    July 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    ((Hugs)) to Vickie.

  3. caprilis said,

    July 16, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    When a friend has been that great, it doesn’t matter how far apart you are. Good luck to Vickie 🙂

  4. Laurie said,

    July 16, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    What an absolutely beautiful tribute to a friend. You are both so blessed to have each other in your lives.

  5. Vickie said,

    July 16, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Awww, thank you xo

  6. deb said,

    July 17, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Vickie sounds like a wonderful person, wishing her much happiness! Beautiful tribute.


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