Her husband is grieving. Her siblings are in mourning. Her friends are laden with sadness.
However, as I have reflected on my friendship with her and her husband I am filled with gratitude for one simple lesson that they taught me through their example:
How a husband and wife should love each other.
|Photo courtesy of Fotolia|
Both my friend and her husband lived a simple life. They don't have much in the way of material possessions. They aren't famous or particularly well-known. Education wasn't available to them because of family circumstances when they were being raised. But none of that made a difference in the way that they loved each other.
The week before my friend passed I stopped by her home and visited with her and her husband for a while. As was her custom, when I inquired how she was doing she responded "I'm doing great. And my husband's doing great as well."
During our visit she requested that I come by in the coming weeks with our bishop (our congregation's leader; kind of like a pastor) to plan her funeral so that her husband wouldn't have to worry about it after she had passed. Then she asked if I could help her get a few of her husband's favorite foods as they hadn't been to the store in a little while. She knew that her time on earth was quickly coming to an end and she was focused on caring for her husband.
When she asked me to help her get her husband's favorite foods he jumped to the edge of his seat and scolded her for thinking about him. The words he used were: "Right now it's all about you! Don't think about me and don't worry about me. Right now we're focusing on taking care of you!"
She laughed, turned back to me, and renewed her request. I imagine that after I left a few minutes later she was chastened again. :)
While we didn't know it at the time this was the last time I would see the two of them together. What did I learn from two simple friends with little formal education? I learned that love is what matters. They were happy because they loved each other fiercely. And the more fiercely they loved the stronger their love became.
I believe this is the main reason that the Lord allowed me to become friends with this couple. To remind me that it is my choice how much I love my wife. I decide. The more effort I invest in loving her the greater that love will become.
I am grateful to have known my dear friend and for the lesson in love that she and her husband taught me. They will be together again someday and I think it will be a glorious reunion filled with love.