Posted by: susanideus | August 31, 2012


I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
by Simon and Garfunkel

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A friend loves at all times.
He is there to help when trouble comes.
~Proverbs 17:17 (NIRV)

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In the months since Harold first became ill, I have experienced so many ranges of emotions and moods–love, fear, hope, pain, love, faith, anger, calm, hopelessness, confusion, love, grace, relief, helplessness, anguish, faithlessness, rage, love, dread, fatigue, doubt, peace, worry, love…and the list goes on, up and down, all over the place. And the one that comes through over and over again is love. Being loved, giving love, surrounded by love. I see love in my life being manifested in so many ways and when I ponder that, what comes to mind immediately is the word FRIEND.

For 44 years, I shared every day with the love of my life, my best FRIEND, the strongest and most faithful (faith-filled) person I have ever known. Through so many days and in so many ways, Harold’s love and FRIENDSHIP defined the days of my life. Even when his physical body failed him, the qualities that exemplified who he was shone through and gave me strength and peace.

My daughters, Becca and Johanna, always a source of joy in my life since their lives began, are now as adults, two of my dearest FRIENDS. They are generous with their time and resources, they support me, they listen to me, they keep me company, they love me through all my foibles and eccentricities, they put up with my moods while at the same time keeping me grounded in reality. They are priceless treasures.

Family, friends of long standing, church community–all have been and continue to be the glue that holds me together when everything seems to be falling apart. (Lest I forget, my online “family” from all over this big world, many of whom I have never met face to face, but who are a constant source of love and encouragement, belong here too.) Especially in the last few months, I simply could not have made it through without them. There is not enough space nor words adequate to describe all that these many FRIENDS have done for me and with me. An unbearable time has been made bearable, yes even joyful at times.

Yesterday was a perfect example…the day that was to have been our 44th anniversary…one I approached with not a little misgiving in my heart. I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate those years of love but the aloneness, the missing of my lifetime partner threatened to overwhelm me. Two miracles redeemed the day.

Early in the afternoon, my doorbell rang; there stood a young lady delivering the most beautiful bouquet of flowers from my children. They had asked for lots of daisies (long a favorite of my girls and always symbolizing them in my heart) surrounding a gorgeous yellow rose (the one flower Harold always sent on our anniversary–being a true Texan, he always called me his “yellow rose”). They told me that they wanted me to know I was surrounded by their love even though they could not be here in person to hug me. My children, my FRIENDS.

Last evening, I was taken out and treated to a lovely dinner by two dear GIRLFRIENDS, Jeanie and Donna. They just didn’t want me to be alone. Their love and thoughtfulness touched a chord deep in my soul.

More than ever, I have been made aware how very precious FRIENDS are–angels, miracles–that are there at precisely the time they are needed, gifts from God making His presence known in a very tangible way.

I woke up today with this old Simon and Garfunkel classic running through my mind. It epitomizes the role FRIENDS play in my life right now. They are bridges, helping me over the gap left by Harold’s loss. His enduring love and friendship will be in my heart always, but when I need a hug, a hand to hold, it is these FRIENDS who will be here “sailing right behind”.


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