A week ago Teri was alive. She was breathing. Now she is a spirit - her earthly remains have been laid to rest by the Red Hats in a wonderful, sweet, funny ceremony that Teri would have loved.
A week ago Teri had less than 24 hours to stay with us on this earth. She fought boldly and was the most courageous, giving, fun friend anyone could ever have. But she knew when it was time to stop, time to let God take Her home. She had always told me that's what she wanted and when she and her family learned that she had a brain tumor in the left lobe - a glioblastoma multiforme - and that it was so advanced and so large, and that even after surgery, and even if she continued chemo and radiation, her chances were so small, she decided to "go home." She did go to her home on her Lane and there we were privileged to minister to her, to tell her we loved her, to tell her that she didn't have anything to be sorry for, to tell her that Jesus understood and was waiting for her. Her family - "my" family - is so generous and loving. Who else would have let their wife and mother's friends take their loved one to the cemetery and say their last respects, and lay her in her final earthly resting place?
I say earthly because I know she is now heavenly. She is in the sun, the warmth, the bird song, the spring to come, the favorite song on the radio, the fans cheering on the Razorbacks, the hearts of her husband, her children, her friends. She is in the arms of God.
After 36 years of everything that true heart-to-heart friends go through together and enjoy together, what a large place is left in my life! I will trust God to somehow fill that, as He did so joyfully give her to me for all those years. I must decide to look for the joy of life, to carry on the fun she bequeathed me in her every action and word, to reach out to her family and to others. Idealistic words; God help me carry through, carry on.
This is the first "real" Saturday and everyone is busy doing other routine things. Paul has gone to see his mother and I'm here doing laundry, listening to soft rock on the radio, collecting emails between me and Bren, between me and Tara, Teri's daughter. Taking time to breathe.