I've told yall about my friend Andy. I wrote about him a couple times, and I even shared a letter I wrote him on his birthday.
Well, in twelve days, I'm going home. Home. My heart shudders at the sound of that word.
I'm just going for a weekend. Just long enough to breathe in that sweet southern air. Just long enough for a girls night out. Just long enough to enjoy hugs and food and family. Just long enough....
I'm going just long enough to spend time with Andy's sweet mother. And as much as it makes my heart happy, it hurts me so very much.
You see, Andy's mother has struggled with her health for many years. Years of hospitals, surgeries, sleepless nights, and unending pain. When they lost Andy, her health started slowly fading. She never gave up hope in her Lord, and truth be told, her faith in losing her only child has given me strength and hope beyond imagination in losing my own babies.
But in the last few months, this slow fade has stepped up its pace. She's lost almost all of her sight. She had 14 bad falls in a matter of weeks, so now she isn't able to move around on her own. She's at dialysis several days a week. She cries and prays and cries some more. She's missing her Andy so bad. She's hating feeling so helpless. She's hating feeling like such a burden. She's hating being so sick and exhausted.
She's giving up.
I can hear it in her cracking voice. I can feel it in my heart.
She's ready to hand over her pain to her Lord. She's ready to find her Andy.
I loved Andy with every ounce of my being. I still do. And one of the greatest gifts I ever got was the beautiful friendship with his parents after his death. I love his parents like they are my own. I love surprising them on visits home, spending late evening sharing stories with them, laughing and crying with them, praying for them. I love their love story. I love their love for their only child, for each other, for their Lord. I love the idea of more visits, of more family gatherings, of more late nights, of one day introducing them to their "grandkids". They are my friends, they are my family, they are my home.
And tonight, my heart is breaking for them, for what could very well be our last visit. Our last hug, our last late night, our last story.
In twelve days, I hope my weekend is just long enough. To listen, to hug, to share, to laugh, to pray, to cry. To enjoy our time together, just in case it really is our last. To make sure that she knows she is loved, so very much. To just be there. Home.
I know that when she is ready, she will also be going home. I pray with everything in me that when she makes that trip, she finds him, her sweet, beautiful Andy, and gets to hold him in that strong, warm embrace she's been longing for. I pray that she finally finds that place where she can just be.... Home.