We found out this morning that a very dear friend of ours passed away.
Mary Lou was the type of friend that even if you only saw or talked to her a couple of times a year you just picked up where you left off in your friendship. I had no idea that her cancer had come back. When I last saw her about a year ago she was as vibrant as ever. I was thinking a little while ago how she and her family have been friends of mine for over half of my life. I watched her kids grow up and she was a friend through thick and thin. From the first time I ever counseled at Cedar Lake Camp way back in June of 1983 she was a friend and mentor. Through dating, engagements, broken engagements, marriage, kids diagnosed with cancer and autism, ministry problems, disappointments...you name it, she was always willing to listen, pray and give Godly wisdom to me and Sarah. I know that she is dancing with Jesus right now and that we will see her again someday but until then we will miss her terribly.
It makes me wonder why we waste our energy on fighting, holding grudges, and just living the every day rat race. Life is too short to waste our time and energy on things that don't really matter. I wish I would have spent more time with Mary Lou. Now I don't have the chance.
I'm making a list of all of the friends that I keep thinking that I'll call someday, get together with, write a letter to or go and visit.
I'm going to call one of them up and tell them I care.
I'm going to block off a few hours in my schedule to go out to eat and laugh with someone I haven't seen in a while.
I'm going to turn off my computer to write an honest to goodness handwritten letter to someone to let them know how much they have meant to me and still mean to me.
I'm going to set my busywork aside and go and visit an old friend.
I'm going to reach out to a friend that I had a falling out with and tell them I'm sorry.
I'm going to sit and play a game with my kids.
I'm going to stop and cuddle with my honey to talk...or just watch a movie together.
The paperwork can wait until later. That one more blog post that needs to be written can be written another time. The bed can stay unmade for a day. The dishes will be there in the morning. We can put off the homeschool for a little while longer.
All of those all so important things don't seem so important anymore.
Today I'm going to spend some time with my family and my friends...new AND old. I'm going to cherish the time I have with them.
There is one thing that I'm going to do first, though. I'm going to contact Wardy, Marshall, Jessica, and Luke - Mary Lou's kids. I'm going to let them know what a great mom they had. I'm going to tell them how much she meant to me and how much they mean to me. I'm going to reconnect with some old friends before I don't have the chance again. I'm going to get my priorities straight and live and love again.