Almost three years ago now I lost my best friend to cancer. And my life was changed dramatically.
I know now that, beside my mother, she was the only real accepting person in my life. She took me just as I was, warts and all, and loved me for who that person was. She was a "soft place to fall" as Dr. Phil says - and the only one I had after my mother died. (I used to think I had my husband for that but now realize I never did, so once she was gone I was on my own. I just didn't realize it until recently!)
Anyway - her son just had his third baby - a little girl named Catherine Anne. I am overjoyed for them (they already had two boys!) but it is a bittersweet moment for me. Its the first grandchild that my dear friend will never meet. At least on this side of heaven.
It makes me teary to think about this unfair part of life and I wish it were different. Our grandchildren are what give us joy and purpose in our later years, just as our children did before them. I know my friend would have doted over this little girl, just as she did over her other grandchildren. They were the love of her life, just as mine own are for me. My heart aches for her never getting to hold this baby and I know I will fight tears the first time I meet her myself. I'll be admiring the baby, and telling her parents how beautiful she is, but I'll be thinking about my friend and missing her. And wishing she could be here to lavish love on this little one.
I may never have another person in my life that cares about me the way that she did, or that I could trust the way I could her. But I can do my best with my own life now and make sure I never, for a single moment, take for granted the gift of life that I have and the opportunities I have to love and cherish my own children and grandchildren. I truly have a wonderful life.