You see, I have this friend.
I've barely known her a year, but we feel like lifelong comrades.
She is warm and kind,
and hands-down the most generous person I have ever known.
Yesterday she laid to rest the love of her life and husband of five years.
He suffered a dissecting aortic aneurysm and spent a week in the Intensive Care Unit where his health deteriorated and his organs began to fail.
She has a kindred story, one of struggle and pain - of victory over darkness. Our friendship was wrought of an unspoken understanding of the fires we had endured, the character they imbued and the appreciation for who we became.
When the words came across my laptop screen that her devoted husband - loving surrogate father to her two elder children and devoted Daddy to their darling daughter - was in the ICU, I felt the air go out of my lungs.
A week later the inconceivable news that he had been "Carried to heaven in the arms of Jesus" caused an ache in my belly that to this day I cannot remedy.
She had survived. She had trusted the Lord. She had been blessed with a life that was beyond her expectation and the partnership of a man she considered her rock and the love of her life.
To look into the eyes of our precious children and somehow explain why Daddy isn't here, won't be back, still loves them and is with Jesus.
And that same Jesus loves them and wants the best for them.
But no matter how much they want him ...
how much I want him ...
He is forever gone, and there is nothing I can do about it.