Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Missing Angela

What a weekend, and not in a good way.  On Friday, as posted, we lost our dear family cat, Luke.  Luke's passing was unexpected and left a huge hole in our family.

We decided to just get away from the sadness for a couple days and enjoy family time together on a staycation vacation in San Diego.  We went to Coronado and then spent the day at the San Diego Zoo.  Being together, relaxing, looking at interesting animals distracted us from our reality of loss, but also allowed us to talk about Lukey and remember what a great kitty friend he was.

On our way home from the zoo, I received a phone call.  A friend called to let me know my dear friend, Angela, had lost her long, courageous battle with cancer. 

With Angela just over a year ago.

I don't have a long history of friendship with Angela like many people do.  I've only known her for two years.  I wish it was more and regret we didn't have more time to share life, but I am confident God had a plan in bringing us together.

Prior to our move to SoCal, my hub and I made a couple trips down to house hunt.  On one of the visits we stopped by a church a lady on the plane had mentioned.  We met a staff member there and told him of our upcoming move to the area.  We shared we were a homeschool family looking to meet other homeschoolers.  He then gave me the name, Angela.  She was the gal to know if we needed anything homeschool.

A few months later, our move was complete and we began attending the church we visited. I hadn't found Angela yet, but I was consistently on the lookout.  Meeting Angela became my mission.  I was going to find her even though I didn't know what she looked like or who she was.  Every week I scoped out the church looking for her.  I'm really not Mrs. Stalkarazzi, even though it sounds like it.  I just knew we were supposed to meet.

A couple weeks later, I found her.  I'm not sure how it all happened, but she was standing in the hall talking with another homeschool mom.  I waited for them to finish their conversation and then introduced myself to her, and her friend, Hali.  I told them we were new to the area and thus began the two year friendship with these gals.

These gals introduced our family to many other homeschool families and we soon became connected.

Soon thereafter, I sent out an email inviting these new found friends to a boys book club.  I've hosted book clubs in the past and wanted to start a new one.  Angela said she sensed from God that they were supposed to be involved.  At this time she was battling cancer with chemotherapy and they were limiting some of their activities, but she was led to be part of the group.

Book club meetings were twice a month so we all had guaranteed friend time to grow in our friendships. 

Angela was a godsend in my life.  Not only did we have similar homeschool philosophies, we were kindred conservative sisters.  It's not too often I find a friend as passionate about conservative politics as I am, but Angela was THE GIRL.  I'm going to miss our conversations.  It's just so encouraging to know you have someone on your side, who knows what you're thinking and doesn't want to argue with you.  It's refreshing to say the least!  And I also loved that Angela defended me like a true friend on more than one occasion.  Thank you Angela for speaking up like a big sister!

Her amazing strength was inspiring.  Some moms complain about normal homeschool and family life duties, but she did these duties while making frequent doctor visits for chemotherapy, radiation, and check-ups.  I never heard her complain.  She took it all in stride with unceasing faith.  And she managed to graduate two of her boys who are now in college and continued to homeschool her youngest three.

There were so many questions I had for her about what to do next since she was farther along in the homeschooling journey.  I regret not asking more, taking more photos, and soaking up her friendship.

It's hard for me to completely grasp that she is now with Jesus.  I'm so glad she was a confident woman of faith.  She knew her Creator and lived a life full of miracles.  She was a walking miracle as the doctors told her many times.  I know she now walks pain-free in Heaven and is completely restored.

Angela taught me many things, but what I admired most was her commitment to family, her undying faith, her steadfast dependence on prayer, and her will to live.  Angela, you're an amazing woman and friend and I look forward to one day seeing you again.

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