My Darly Fred is doing better, thank the Lord and thank you all for praying. He stayed home today while I went on to church as I had a children's class to teach. I so enjoy teaching these little ones. We have a new little boy in class, Bobby is 5 and old enough to be in Jr. Church now. He's adorable and loves to sing. Bobby's coming to class was my first surprise of the day.
My second surprise was to get home and find that Fred had prepared lunch & had it waiting for me. Later, we began preparing dinner together and in the middle of that we heard a knock at our front door. Fred answered it, then called my name. The visitor was for me. Surprise again. Who comes to see me on Sunday?
It was a friend's younger sister and I knew from the expression on her face she wasn't bringing good news. I immediately thought something had happened to her Mom or Dad. Instead she said "You know Claudie's dying don't you?" Claudie is the friend I've known since high school and no, I didn't know she was dying. Surprise wasn't an adequate word to describe what I felt when I heard her words. Shock was more like it.
Claudie and I have had an on-again, off-again friendship since we got married, had kids and went separate ways for awhile. But it's been a lasting friendship that goes deeper than where we live and what we're doing with family. She moved to Ohio about three years and we've not been in touch since then. Until today.
Her sister told me what was wrong, cancer, and that hospice has been called in. In August Claudie was told she had about six months to live. Her sister then said, "Louise, she wants to talk to you."
After her sister left, I gathered my thoughts, asked God to give me the words, and placed a call to this lady whom I've known for over 40 years. Her husband answered, told her who it was and she got on the phone. Her voice is not the voice I've known all these years. Cancer has changed that. I asked how she was and she answered, "Oh, I'm fine, how are you?" We talked for just a few short minutes as she said she was very tired and was going to try to sleep for awhile. I asked if I could call back later and she said "yes, of course, please do that. I love you Louise, bye for now."
I will call her later and I will, if the Lord wills, go to visit her parents this week. They are heart-broken as any parent would be knowing your child is dying.
It's been a day of surprises. Some really good and pleasant ones and one that shocked me to tears. This woman is my age and has always been strong and healthy and seemingly able to do most anything she set her mind to. We met as teen-agers and our lives have criss-crossed over a span of over 40 years. She's preparing to leave this earth and I'm preparing to spend the evening with my husband, and sort of planning my week's activities as God sees fit to order them.
We are never really ready for this kind of surprise, are we?