I saw this poignant post on Facebook recently from one of my friends talking about her best friend. It grabbed my heart.
Have you ever thought about what you didn’t say to or do with a dear friend? You thought you’d get around to having her over for coffee on your back porch, sitting on the new furniture she helped you pick out. You thought you’d tell her that you would be honored to help her with her daughter’s wedding when that day comes. You thought you’d get a chance to go eat Mexican food together at a new place in town. And you thought you’d be going to Alaska with her next year. And you also thought she knew how special she was in your life-but did you ever come right out and tell her often enough?
My dearest friend on earth passed away yesterday before we got to live out the rest of our lives together. I won’t get to do any of those things mentioned above, with her as we had planned.
Please tell your dear friends OFTEN how much they mean to you. Eat lunch with them and have coffee with them NOW, don’t put it off another day. Because tomorrow may not come.
I have a hole in my heart that will never go away. I miss her and so many things have been left unsaid and undone. Don’t take your time on this earth for granted, Please!
The friend who died went in for a fairly routine heart surgery — as if ANY heart surgery can be considered routine — but then she had a reaction to the anesthesia, and the doctors couldn’t bring her back.
I, too, had a friend who died leaving me with profound regrets. Patsy Gore Wright was several years older than I was. Her daddy actually baptized me at FBC Athens when I was 8 years old. For a time, she and her husband Jerry lived in Hartselle with their 3 children who were very close in age to my own 3. She could sing “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” with the most passion I have ever heard. She played the organ at FBC, and I played the piano. We LOVED the times when we played duets during the offertory. We both taught private piano lessons. When our son Matt was born prematurely and I had students getting ready for various festivals and competitions, she graciously fit them into her schedule so that they could go right on without missing a beat. She and Steve were also great buddies because she loved her pets so much, and Patsy trusted Steve to take care of them. I’ll never forget one hot day in particular when I went to Patsy’s house, and she served the most delicious strawberry lemonade I’d ever had. “Just a little something I threw together,” I remember her saying. After a few years, Patsy, Jerry and the kids moved away from Hartselle to be houseparents at the Big Oak Boys Ranch near Gadsden. We chatted by phone a few times, but mostly busyness got in the way and we drifted apart. Then, she was at her parents’ house one day and saw mine and Steve’s pictures on the front of The Alabama Baptist when we were appointed as missionaries. She called all excited and pledged to stay in touch and pray for us while we were gone.
She was SO faithful to email and to send materials that we could use in our ministry. Amazingly, she seemed to have a sense about when we needed encouragement. We would open up our email that day and without fail, we’d find Bible verses and positive words from Patsy.
When we returned to the States, I made plans to visit “as soon as I could.” I rushed back into a teaching job, building a house, watching grandbabies join the family, etc. etc. In other words, busyness and LIFE once again got in the way. Finally, the tentative plan was to visit during Spring Break of 2008. However, Patsy suddenly got sick and was gone. I missed my chance. I didn’t make seeing her a priority. And I have felt the regrets for the past 9 years.
Actress Jennifer Aniston has said: “There are no regrets in life, just lessons.” I know my own regrets have produced a lot of lessons. What about you? Is it possible to live a life with NO REGRETS? Probably not, but it’s a worthy goal.
Here are some verses to encourage us and spur us on to action:
1 John 3:18 – “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
Colossians 3:23-24 – “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Hebrews 13:16 – “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
Galatians 6:10 – “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”