This is My "Real" Blog: Remembering Beth

Angie's Blog!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Remembering Beth

(Beth and her daughter, Melinda)

Earlier today, Beth went home to be with Jesus.

If you have read my blog at all, you would be familiar with my friend, Beth.

I originally wrote this blog entry a week and a half ago, but pulled it off because I wanted to be sensitive to Beth, and her family as she went through these last days. Here's what I wrote. . . with a bit of editing.

Last week - I started rereading some of her beautiful blog entries. Starting with the most recent, and working my way backwards. Somewhere around November of 2008, I decided to do some cross-reference checking to my blog. Not sure of when she started commenting on my blog, I kept digging.

My very first entry has her beautiful comments on it. . . and she became a frequent commenter on my blog (hitting nearly every entry) for the past four years.

I don't think she got to read this . . . and that's okay.

Beth fought bravely in a battle against cancer. Last fall, she was diagnosed with cancer - a very aggressive cancer in her salivary glands and throat. Doctors decided to think "outside the box" for her treatment.

I remember getting a phone call from her last December, while doing some Christmas shopping - where she was so very excited about their non-textbook approach. It was a difficult conversation to have -- malls tend to be noisy places. But, it was encouraging, nonetheless.

Time has passed. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments helped to shrink the original tumor -- she named him "Ignace," or "Iggy" for short. And, although there was a definite decrease in Iggy's size, the aggressiveness of this particular cancer reared back and went into her liver, lungs, and bones. And today, she was allowed to rest in the arms of Jesus.

Cancer may have won this battle. But, Beth is going to win the war!!!

In the next couple of days, I will write a letter to be read at her memorial service. (Actually, I'm actually now looking at the possibility of going up to Canada for the service) But, I've never done anything like this before. As I told my dad on the phone, I have learned that friends have died. . . but Beth is the first close friend that I've lost.

. . . and I'm coming to grips with the fact that as I get older, it's going to happen more and more.

I've been shedding quite a few tears lately. Among laughter and smiles, tears flow quite freely. And yes, there are many reasons for those tears.

I am weeping for her husband, and her six beautiful daughters.

I am crying for her mother, who has lived with her the past couple of years -- and had to watch her daughter suffer from this horrible disease.

I am weeping on behalf of friends and neighbors that love her dearly -- children that she has adopted as her nieces and nephews (two of them are my kids) -- just because they are.

And yes, I am mourning for me.

I have lost a friend. . . a friend that I feel like I have known all of my life.

This friend was someone. . . .

. . .to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude
. . .that wasn't afraid to ask me to do serious spiritual battle on her behalf
. . .that loved my children like they were her own flesh and blood
. . .who disagreed with me politically, but loved me in spite of it
. . .who valued and celebrated my artistic abilities
. . .I have never got to meet in person.

But we have two serious reunions planned. One, this Spring, when Caroline & I meet Beth's daughters in person.

The other -- when Beth and I are united in heaven.

And although that may always be one of my life's regrets -- never meeting her in person -- I will cherish every word that we exchanged. I have saved blog entries, emails, comments, facebook exchanges, and scrapbook layouts that she lovingly created. I will read them again and again and again. . .

and I will not be the same person I was four years ago.

  • I will be a better friend.
  • I will become a more devoted wife.
  • I will encourage and challenge my children in new ways.
  • I will develop my inner voice--and write the words God puts on my heart.

And yes, for her and those precious girls I love so much, I will learn to love Chris Tomlin's song, God of this City. Up until now, it has not been on my top-five list of songs. I'm not sure why I initially rejected it. Maybe because I couldn't get beyond the fact that I don't live in an actual "city" per se.

But it became Beth's cancer song and now, when I listen to it - I will see the greater things that were to be done through her battle. I will rejoice in the greater things that God is going to do through her girls -- and through her husband of so very few years. I will see how she glorified God - up until today.

And as the song says, I will declare that:

You’re the Light in this darkness
You’re the Hope to the hopeless
You’re the Peace to the restless
There is no one like our God

I love you desperately, Beth. I will keep the promise I made to you -- I will not let go of your girls. I promise.


Blogger SmallWorld at Home said...

So sorry, Angie...

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Christy said...

I am so sad. And I want to swear a LOT. I really believed she'd beat this and I'm so, so sorry.

11:02 PM  
Blogger MamaChef's Ramblings said...

This is beautiful Angie!! Beth is pain free now, what a comforting thing to know! Her legacy is amazing, and I am so excited that she is getting to hug Jesus right now...what a celebration!

I hope you are able to work out going to her service...the circumstances are unfortunate, wish the opportunity were much much different.

Love you and am praying for you and for Beth's family!

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sending you hugs and tons of prayers to her daughters and husband. I lost my mom at young age to cancer. It's not easy. I hope they find peace.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Judy said...

I am so sorry Angie.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Mellykat said...

Best blog post in history. Your friendship with Beth is immortalized. Your connection in spirit is cemented forever. God bless you my friend!
M :)

11:07 PM  

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