I’m feeling very pensive this morning. This is a very significant date for me. It was 6 years ago today that one of my best friends graduated from this life to eternal life with her Savior and Creator. I still miss Marcy. She’s now been gone longer than I knew her. It seems a little strange that I could miss someone so deeply after only knowing her for a short time. We had a unique friendship, though. God brought us together as friends at a time when we were both longing for good friendship. Every year at this time, though, I am struck with the memories of her, and her life and her death. It was a Thursday, and today is another Thursday, so today has almost brought it even more clearly to the front of my mind.
Some years are very difficult–I only really remember the sadness. I remember recieving the news. She was married to my cousin, so his mother (my aunt) called me with the news. I remember getting a message on the answering machine saying that she and my uncle were in the area. She didn’t want to leave the news on the machine, and so she didn’t leave any explanation. I didn’t want to call back right away. I had a couple piano lessons on my schedule that night, and I thought she just wanted me to join them for dinner. So when I finally called back, I certainly wasn’t expecting the news she gave. In fact, I didn’t even believe her when she said, “Marcy passed away this morning. ” I thought it was a sick joke. I didn’t respond right away, and when I could finally find words, I said, “That’s not funny.” She said, with a very shaky voice, “I know, dear.” Suddenly, with that realization, my schedule didn’t matter anymore.
Other years, I can focus my memories more easily on the good things. I remember my last few conversations with her. She talked to me about the importance of telling my loved ones that I love them. I’ve always felt it and been able to show it through actions, but those three simple words have been hard to say. She knew that about me and had been telling me I needed to call my family immediately and tell them I loved them. The urgency she tried to convey to me was clearer than ever after she died. In God’s providence, He allowed me to say those words to her while she was still alive. I also remember her laugh and her love of being silly and creative. During her last summer alive, I lived with her and David while I was between schools. David was away for long periods of time with his work, and Marcy hated being by herself, so it worked out well for all of us. Marcy and I spent most of the summer hanging out by the pool, and stamping cards and stationery, and talking, laughing, and crying for hours on end.
Writing here about the weeks and months that followed her passing would be more than I have time to write, but I feel like I can still remember every detail. I can still play back most of the funeral service and burial service in my mind. I remember thinking that when David called me to come and help him clean his house, he really wanted me to do it for him. I also remember getting there and seeing that what he really wanted was company. He simply couldn’t bear the thought of cleaning all of that by himself. I’m so thankful that I was close enough to be there for things like that–even to stay at the house for the weekend, so he wouldn’t have to spend all that time alone.
I remember being there when David got paperwork from the adoption agency just a few weeks after Marcy died. They had been trying to have children for a few years. It was a bittersweet moment with thankfulness that David didn’t have to be a single dad, but sadness that Marcy didn’t get to experience being a mom as she so desparately wanted.
There is a recurring theme in all of these memories, though. Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” That’s a lesson God has been teaching me in very powerful ways. God’s sovereignty and perfect timing have been reinforced over and over again. First, I saw it in how God led David to his second wife Kristy, making them a wonderful family and blessing them with a beautiful daughter. Then, I saw how God moved me from there. I feel closely connected to the story of Esther. No, I can’t relate to being a queen or winning a beauty contest, but I know without a doubt that God placed me in that place and that friendship for His purposes. About a month after Marcy died, my sister Marah was near where I lived with one of her stops on her college choir tour. The choir had some great songs and a skit on the story of Esther emphasizing the question, “And who knows but that you have come [here] for such a time as this?” from Esther 4:14. Just remembering how close to home that question hit brings tears to my eyes–even six years later. God proved then that He knew just what I needed to hear, and He has proven it many times since then. I continue to be thankful and in awe of the fact that the God whose ways and thoughts are so much higher than mine pays attention to the details of that master plan that will encourage me.