July 3, 2011

To Sara With Love

Sara died ten years ago this June.

She was barely 23 and she was newly pregnant. She was killed in her own apartment by a man whose name she never knew, and who was arrested 24 hours later for the murder of another woman a few months before. Sara’s husband found her. Her mother called me.
Sara was my best friend. We met as 16-year-olds. I was new to this country, I knew nobody, and spoke little English. I sat confused and alone in a math class that first day of our junior year of high school. This little blonde sitting in front of me turned around and said: “Hi, my name is Sara. Here is my phone number.” And that was that. We became inseparable. We had sleepovers, dated best friends, and shared secrets. I lived with her and her mom for a summer after high school and we stood by each other as we married our sweethearts. The last time I talked to Sara was a couple of weeks before she died. We talked about our marriages and the possibilities of children in the near future. She told me she was sure next month would be THE month. Her baby would have been nine-years-old this year.
After Sara died I went through a period of spiritual darkness that threatened to destroy my faith. But Sara loved Jesus and the hope of seeing her again was monumental in pushing me forward. Over the years I have dedicated to her all the milestones I have experienced that should have also been hers to enjoy. Holding my children for the first time, turning 30, wedding anniversaries, Christmases and new gray hairs. There is not a big moment of my life that I don’t feel her absence and that I am not painfully aware that Sara will not live through it as well.
As I stood before her casket the hot afternoon of her burial, unable to walk away, her brother took a rose off the spray that sat above the box and handed it to me. It was a simple gesture he has probably forgotten but I have kept that rose all these years. It is not much, but it is all I have this side of heaven.
I miss my friend.

I miss her goofy sense of humor, her beautiful singing voice, and her gentle heart. That we will see each other again is a great comfort and I praise God for that. But oh, what I would give to spend one more afternoon sharing giggles and comparing struggles with the girl who befriended me just when I needed it the most.

Who do you miss every day?

11 comments:

Deidra said...

I miss my dad everyday. For me and for my children. He never got to meet them and to know how wonderful they are. I wish he could have seen them but I know one day he will, and that hope we have through Christ makes all the difference. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, touching story.

Amy Sullivan said...

Oh Gaby, wow. There is something that will always connect us to those we miss, something special. I miss so many people, but most of all, I think of my step-sister who died in a car accident when she was a senior in high school. I wonder what she would be like today...

Gaby said...

Oh, Deidra and Amy, thank you for stopping by. Time does help with the pain, but the loss is never gone, is it? But, like Deidra says, the hope we have in Christ makes all this bearable in this life.

Jen said...

This has me in tears. What a lovely tribute to your friend, and I appreciate so much your honesty within it. I miss my grandmother in every way, but especially when I just need someone to tell me it's going to be okay.

Heather said...

This is a beautiful tribute. You are an amazing friend. I miss Caleb, but it's not every day anymore.

Wonder Woman said...

I miss an Aunt that i never even met but that everyone says i look like and act like. She was killed her freshman year at college by a stranger. A serial killer who didn't even know her. My mom was pregnant with me sitting in the back of the courtroom for the trial of her killer. I often wonder how if i'm so much like her because she had to go...and i had to finish what she started.

Nancy said...

How awful. I can't even imagine. How very, very kind of her brother to hand you that rose. Thank you for honoring your friend's life here.

Gaby said...

Thank y'all for sharing the loved ones you miss. I believe pain shared is a lighter burden to carry.

Kathleen @ Kath Ink said...

Grief, it comes in waves. My sister is wading through the ocean of having lost her husband a year ago so this touching, poignant post resonates with me though I am not the one deeply feely the pain of loss.

To honor the memory of your best friend -- how lovely, how beautiful. I'm sure she likes that. Thank you for sharing -- I'm glad that you are experiencing a burden lifted through sharing.

Tracey Davis said...

Sad and beautiful. Thank you for sharing, and for linking to Gypsy Mama.

Deborah said...

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing!