This week past I said goodbye to a friend. She passed too young. And yet, she is free now of her body that rebelled against her. I have found myself remembering just how much this friend impacted my life. She encouraged me to ask questions without fear. To seek answers about the hard stuff. She had a sixth sense. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if it was real but over the years I became a believer. She had such a passion of women and was a true minister to so many. I loved her irreverentness. She spoke without holding back. Sometimes, what she had to say was very hard to hear, yet she spoke the truth out of love and when spoken in love, you are forced to listen. She seemed to know when she was needed. I am not a person that will seek help from outside my circle. I just didn’t do that. And yet, time after time, she would show up. Sometimes I’d get in trouble for not taking care of myself. Sometimes she just offered a hug. Sometimes she rallied the troops to swoop in. She taught me that being a giver was great. But sometimes, us givers need to let other give and we need to become gracious recievers. That was very hard.
As a minister to women, she worked tireless. She would be there at any hour and didn’t seem to notice the time. I saw and heard so many stories of her being there for new moms. Moms that were suffering. I saw her take over when a mom couldn’t do for her family anymore- she just stepped in. Tirelessly. I don’t think she ever looked for the thank you or the gratitude. I doubt she could remember all the lives she helped.
She was a momma and she loved her boys. She was so proud of them. She talked about them constantly. She loved her husband, whom we had the privilege of being the principal of the boys school. She was protective of him, fiercely protective of those she loved.
Last night was the wake. What it really was was a glimpse of what heaven will feel like. A friend on Facebook said it was like coming home. The wake began at 6 pm, but there was already quite a line way before 6 and it went constant till 9 pm. It was a true testimony of what pillars of the community Ray and Doreen were, each in their own right. We saw people from Sammy’s JK/SK days when we were newbies to the community. We saw teachers and friends from years gone by come and pay their respects. It was so beautiful. Our school always had a specialness about it especially in the years past. It was so wonderful to feel that again.
The church was packed. I saw so many faces that I know Doreen had been part of their story and heard of stories from year gone by. As wonderful as it is to know Doreen is at peace and no longer dealing with her illness, there’s a huge part of me that can’t comprehend she is gone. She was always there. She always had a smile and hug ready. She was a wealth of knowledge and great advice. Despite her being sick for a while, I guess I assumed she’d be there…. as she cheated death so many times. Until she wasn’t. Guess I will have to wait till we are reunited in heaven… and can say with no doubt that God is smiling as He looks at Doreen and says, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”
I miss you already, Doreen. Thank you for all you brought into my life.