Yesterday my day was interrupted by the unexpected news that a very longtime friend of mine had passed away. After the initial, and requisite, disbelief and information-gathering/passing phone calls, as the Autumn day breezed on, I began to dwell on the fleeting nature of our humanity; how in a catcall the roles once occupied by certain individuals fade off and become replaced by new people playing new roles, the old to be but frayed memory. As the winds of life blow on so do pass people into the oblivion of Past, some never knowing the impact they had on any given Present.
This particular friend of mine once held the rank of significance for me and many others; despite her quiet, infinitely humble, innocuous demeanor she was at once a voice and presence in the church, a leader, a Sunday School teacher, an elementary school teacher, a store-owner, a wife and mother, a friend to many, and a mentor and guardian for me at a time when despair seemed all I had.
It was over a year since I last saw her, a year that saw her endure more than any good person should, and a year that saw me grow into new realms of faith, awareness and appreciation. It makes me sad to think that I will never see her again, and that I never got to share with her my newfound love and appreciation for peace, sunlight and life. I never got to ease her as she eased me so many times. I never got to tell her how much she did for me and so many others, how much she was appreciated, how important she actually was.
There is no more fitting description of her I could give other than that she was a paradigm of peace. She promoted it through her serenity and compassion, and she maintained in the face of constant dissonance. How she maintained her peace is both astonishing and inspiring to me and, though I’m sad she is no longer on this earth and concerned for her young son, part of me is relieved to know she will no longer have to face such dissonance, such trial. Her peace, always constant during her life, is now eternal.