Today is a special day. It is a sad day, but still a day to celebrate the life of someone who is a special person to many people. One year ago today, one of my best friends passed away. We still really don't know why, but her husband says it best: because she had completed what God had planned for her here on Earth. If you knew Carla, you would agree. There isn't a person that I know who is as happy and complete as she was when she died. It is so painful sometimes to think of her not being here, but so amazing to think about where she is now. So much has happened in a year... we moved, had a baby, moved again. I know she would have already been down here to visit. I am grateful that I was able to tell her we were expecting LAS. I sometimes picture us with our girls on walks or playing in the den. It would have been so fun. She always could make you laugh and in the same great conversation, make you think. Carla was an amazing Christian and that makes her death a little easier to handle. If there is an angel up there, it is Carla. I remember the time that Phillip and I visited her and Michael when they had to live in Fargo. I said had because, believe me, it wasn't by choice. The four of us sat up talking about life, Christ, and ironically, death. We could talk about anything. I am so thankful that we have been able to keep some of that relationship alive with her husband, and amzing person/father, Michael. I feel so fortunate to have been challenged by her, put in my place by her, and laughed with her.
After she passed away I realized what an inspiration she was to me. I just wish that it didn't take that for me to understand. I strive for the happiness and the fullness that she felt. Not that I wasn't happy, but just a different level. I knew that my relationship with Christ needed to be strengthened. How was I going to do this? How could I be more like Carla? I recently started reading the book "Life of the Beloved." (still working on it, it is a little difficult to do with a 5 month old) This is when I realized what it was... I am beloved. God has chosen me and loves me. Everything else just falls into place. He has blessed me with an amazing family and wonderful friends, be happy about it. Carla knew that she was chosen and life was good. I thank her for teaching me and helping me.
I have never lost a friend before. It is probably crazy, but I still have a voice message on my phone from her. I have listened to it once. It took a long time to hear her voice, knowing I couldn't talk back to her. We were planning a girl's trip. I think she knows, but the girls came to her that night in the hospital. We all were together one last time. I know she is smiling down on Michael and watching him bring Linen up to be a beautiful little girl. She looks just like her. He is so amazing too and I am so thankful that Phillip and I have shared the time we have with him and we look forward to more. He also can sing like you wouldn't believe! I still have dreams about Carla. In one she brought me up to Heaven and told me that I shouldn't be sad. Things were great up there and she was able to watch over everyone. You wouldn't believe it, but her husband was staying in the same hotel as we were the night I had that dream and we didn't know it. Hundreds of miles away from our homes.
I look forward to the day I can see her again and we can laugh, get up early for a heavenly yard sale, make some homemade goods so we don't have to pay full price for the ones at the store. It's going to be fun.
I miss you dude and only wish you could have known how much you meant to me when you were here. Thank you for being my friend.
"I thank God everytime I remember you." Philippians 1:3
Gina, Me, and Carla May'08
Hiking in BhamAlways making us laugh!