I said goodbye to my forever friend today.
You know her—she saved my life back in ’77.
We reconnected in 2011—like we never lost time.
Today is the last day I will see her here…on this earth.
No—she hasn’t passed yet—but it is looming and, inevitable.
But today…is the day… I said goodbye.
We drove to Dunnellon, Florida to see her—it’s close to Ocala.
Her sons were there. Her family was there. Her friends who are family were there.
Just her world and those who mattered to her.
And that’s how she wanted it—her husband told us that she just wanted us assembled together.
She wanted to see us all—one more time…
And then, she told him… she was ready to go.
I got to spend some time quality time with her.
I read her some letters close friends had given me to read.
I read her a card that she had given me.
I read her Psalm 23—her favorite scripture.
I also read her 2 Timothy 3:8-10
“I have run the race. I have finished my course and henceforth is laid up for me a crown of glory that I will receive on that day when my Savior with welcome me home!”
I let her know that no one I have ever known has run the race better and with more faith—hers is ferocious.
But I assured her that there is a crown of glory waiting for her as she finishes her course here on earth.
And then I thanked her—I thanked her for accepting me just like I was—unconditional.
She never complained that I can be too loud.
She never complained that I can talk too much.
She never complained that I can be too pie in the sky—dreamer!
Nope—she just loved me just like I was.
And apparently—I wasn’t anything special to her!
Nope—apparently—that’s what she did for everyone she loved—she loved them as she was.
She didn’t judge. She didn’t look at you different. She didn’t remind you of your failures.
She would hug you, love you, and let you know—that was in the past, no need to bring it up again.
Kind of like Jesus, huh?
In the past week… there have been people come to see her that I know 6 months ago would not have come.
But, she welcomed them into her final resting place here on earth, her bedroom with the hospital bed.
She loved them—she didn’t remind them of all the junk that had happened between them—nope—she just loved them.
I observed some there today who—I was surprised to see.
But… they were welcomed by her because—she loves unconditionally and she doesn’t hold grudges.
She would tell me that we just need to love each other.
And then… she would show me how it’s done…
She led by example—with each and every one of us fortunate enough to feel her love.
My wife loved her because she was just common, everyday, didn’t put on airs, just loved you as you are.
Her step son said that he knew she was a good soul the day he met her—he told her some stuff he had done.
He said others would have looked at him differently, but she just hugged him and said “that’s in the past—I love you!”
And he never heard another word about it.
She brought us all together, taking strangers and producing a close knit family—a family—not friends—a family!
We all gathered in her room at the end of the day to pray.
We shared with her how she had loved each of us unconditionally, without judgment, even when we didn’t deserve it.
We prayed a prayer of release, accepting God’s will for when and how.
And we said our goodbyes, more like “see you soons”.
And I leaned in, thanked her for saving my life, promised to watch over her boys and then said…
“I’ll see you on the other side!”
And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt…
I will…see her soon!
Made me question all of the wasted time—hating, avenging, not forgiving, holding grudges…
When in the end, all we need is Love!
What if we could love unconditionally, like Jesus, and yes, like Sandy…
Then we could all live happier lives.
No regrets—Love Like Jesus—Until We leave!
How about it?
Anybody want to join me?
Let’s live like Sandy!
It worked for her—I bet it can work for us!
I’d bet my life on it!
See you on the other side!