Since September 6, 2013 I have been a witness to some remarkable friendships. That day is the day my mother had a severe stroke. That day is the day I began to watch my parents' friends step up and demonstrate what friends really are.
When that terrible stroke hit my mother, my dad and Mom's friend, Lois, were with her. As they were following the ambulance to the hospital, Lois was on her phone calling my dad's friend, Pat. Within a few minutes Pat was at the hospital by my dad's side and stayed until my sister arrived. The next day Pat brought sub sandwiches for all of us who were in the ICU waiting room. I was with my dad for the first week Mom was in the hospital. Every single day Pat came by and Lois came by. There were also visits from several friends they have been in a Bible study with for years. When Mom was finally able to move home five months later, those friends continued to visit and bring meals to their house. Pat came every Sunday afternoon to visit. He would great my mother with, "Hello, Beautiful", which always made her smile.
We got news today that Pat is now on hospice care for cancer that has metastasized. My heart just aches for my dad. I ache for the hole that will be left when Pat is gone. Pat has been an encouragement for Dad. Pat has been a support for him. Pat has made my dad laugh. Pat has been a help to Dad. (Pat built a ramp in their garage for my mom's wheelchair.) Every Sunday, Pat is right there as my dad pulls up to the building and gets the wheelchair out of the back of the van for Dad, the footrests that are in the back seat and then will park the van for Dad.
Today I read this post by Sophie Hudson on Ann Voskamp's blog about what her mama taught her about friendships. At the end of her article, Sophie said:
Because in sincere, God-honoring friendships, you don’t compete - you serve.
You don’t push people down; you lift them up.
I have watched Pat do all of these. My dad is blessed to have had a friendship like this. I have been blessed to witness this friendship.
I have thanked God many times for Pat and Lois and their
loyal friendships with my parents. Many times I have asked God to bless
them. Pat is ready to see Jesus and to see his wife (who passed away
about 3 years ago).
I am praying for my dad as he grieves the loss of his friend.