Monday, June 16, 2008

Tribute to Toni

Today is the 13th anniversary of my mom's passing. I thought I would post a story that I wrote during my senior year of high school. I know the grammar isn't the best, but it was all heart-felt... especially since at that point in my life, it had only been 3 years since she had passed away. I hope you enjoy the story, and most of all, that you are encouraged in knowing that your Creator is loving, and caring, and merciful, and beautiful.

Best Friend

Beth sits by the open window as the light, summer breeze waves through her long, blonde hair. The smells of medicine, peroxide, and fresh spring flowers seem to mix together in the small, stuffy room. She sits cushioned on the bedside of her best friend who is slowly passing away. With a gentle grip, Beth holds the delicate and almost lifeless hand in hers. She can’t help but want to take her pain away and hold on to her forever.

Beth stares at her friend who gazes mindlessly at the blank wall. She keeps a comforting smile on her face, but it masks the pit of sorrow that dwells in her heart. She gets up to leave and plants a soft kiss on the forehead of her weak friend. Beth has been to this place every day for the past four months. The time slowly drags on, and every time she leaves, she wonders if it will be the last time she will see her friend again… she always leaves hesitantly. Beth quietly walks over to the door and opens it. There are no words she can say to express her feelings and no need for a “goodbye” because it wouldn’t be heard. She gives one last look over her shoulder. Her friend doesn’t even notice that Beth has gotten up; her eyes are still fixed on the ivory colored walls.

Back at her home, Beth slowly rocks back and forth, as she thinks of the fond memories that her and her friend have shared. Tears fill her eyes as she thinks of the many years the two of them used to spend laughing and talking together. They didn’t keep much from each other... In fact, they shared everything: their thoughts, dreams, and hopes. Beth knew in her heart that she possessed a special friendship with this beautiful person. A tear falls on Beth’s hand and soon they all begin streaming down her face. She thinks of the many times she sat in the swing in the back yard and shared her dreams about her future with her friend. Beth had told her so much about her hopes of some day graduating high school, of getting married, and then eventually having a family. Her best friend had always sat there with her bright hazel eyes staring back intently. She had promised Beth she would be the kind of friend that would see her through to her dreams. She was always encouraging and assuring for Beth and it left her with comfort and peace inside.

For several minutes, the only sounds heard were the light squeak of the rocker and the muffle of Beth’s cry. She sat curled up in the rocker with her hands over her face. The tears continued to pour and deep agony ripped at her heart as she tried to imagine her life without her best friend. The house they had once shared was now a lonesome place since her friend had gone into the hospital. The sound of laughter had long been forgotten and a big, empty void had become somewhat of a permanent structure in the tiny house. Beth couldn’t imagine going through life without her friend, and with that thought she took her hands away from her face and in a faint whisper cried out to God. “Please don’t let her go through this pain anymore. As much as it her hurts to let her go, it hurts even more to see her suffer.” When Beth finally finished crying she leaned back in her chair and picked up her already-open Bible. She flipped to Romans 8:18, the verse that had been her strength through many sad and lonely nights, and she read aloud: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.” At that moment, tears of God’s comfort and strength began to trickle down her puffy cheeks. Beth knew that her friend would soon be a part of that “glory”. Her heart overlooked the sadness of losing her best friend and instead dwelt on the delight of the awesome place her friend would experience if she did pass away. She envisioned her entering heaven and coming face to face with her Creator and Lord whom she would have loved, honored, and obeyed up to that moment. Her caring Father would tenderly take her hand and walk down the streets of the celestial city with her. Beth’s heart jumped as she thought about how her friend would no longer live every moment in pain and worry. There would be no more medicine for her to take. No more needles poking into her veins. Her broken spirit, her physical wounds, and scars- they would all be healed. A huge smile engulfed Beth’s face as she pictured her friend walking again; she hadn’t been able to do that in so long. The pictures in her mind changed from her friend walking with God to her dancing with Him. She had heard her friend talk about this moment many times and knew that her friend had long awaited it, and deserved it. Through every bit of pain and torture that her earthly vessel endured, she had remained faithful to her Creator. Beth had held her friend through many bitter tears not knowing what the future held. She had assured Beth many times that no matter how hard she was being hit, she still knew God had a plan for her and that if He chose to heal her from this disease then He would. It was all up to Him. She knew God would do what He knew was best and He was going to do it all in His perfect timing. Beth had never met anyone who had gone through so much earthly torture, only to remain so strong and faithful to God. Beth knew how blessed she was to have such a beautiful and wonderful person be such a huge part of her life.

Suddenly, the phone rang and interrupted Beth’s thoughts. She tried to wipe her eyes and make herself appear calm as she let out a quiet, “Hello?” The man on the other end cleared his throat, “Hello, Beth? It’s Dr. Greene. I really hate to tell you this over the phone, but...she’s gone. She passed about twenty minutes ago. I’m really sorry...” Beth gasped and her hands trembled as she hung up the receiver without even saying goodbye. Her insides felt as if an explosion had just occurred. She stood up from the chair, only to fall face down on the floor. She wept tears of loss and tears of joy. Although she cried because she missed her friend already, she also cried tears of thankfulness. God has been faithful and answered Beth’s cry. He had taken her best friend, her mother, home with Him for eternity.

*** Toni Lee Rich Davis*** (June 18, 1953 - June 16, 1995)
"I'll come back and get you," he promised, "so you can live where I live." (John 14:3 MSG)

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Jennifer said...

You are so precious! I know without a doubt that your mom is not just smiling because she's dancing in heaven, but she's also smiling because of how proud she is of you. The plan God had for her life is still unfolding in yours.

Neil said...

This day, June 16th, is really a happy day. It's her birthday for all eternity!