I Walked in Her Shoes Once Again
On Monday I tried to call you but no one was home.
On Tuesday I walked to your home and rang the doorbell.
There was no answer.
On Wednesday I baked you some cookies thinking it would cheer you up.
I ended up eating half a dozen or so.
On Thursday I walked back to your house and you were dead on the floor.
I was shocked. I lost my breath as I stood there over your cold body. How did this happen? I didn’t even see it coming. My heart was grieved and all I could do was sit there petting your dog. I began to pray and ask the Lord what happened to you, my dear friend. How did I not see this coming? I felt as though I had been the world’s worst best friend.
I looked back on my friendship with Kate. It spanned a period of seventy years. We were best friends in kindergarten and we even shared a few boyfriends along the way. We used to skip rocks in the creek and capture tadpoles with our bare hands. Where did the time go?
I knew she suffered from depression. She had many demons in her closet. She even had other people’s demons in her closet too. She had a heart as big as Texas and the jolliest laugh. She used to cook up the meanest spaghetti meals. The days have come and gone like a fast approaching winter. Now I sit on her front porch sipping hot cocoa. I reminisce of the days of gold-of the days of old.
I tried to walk in her shoes one day. It’s just an expression. I tried to shoulder her burdens and carry her messed up marriage and disobedient children on my back. It was too heavy to carry. Years of abuse, broken dreams, empty beer cans, overeating. Her pain was too intense to fathom. I tried to help her to see how much she needed Jesus and she would just sit there and grin.
One day she said to me, “How do you think I’ve made it this far?” I knew she was saying that Jesus was her best friend, so I spoke about her endurance at the funeral. I was the second person to read a eulogy. I knew one thing. The eulogy that I wrote blessed everyone in attendance. They loved her and wanted her to return. I spoke of the good days and reflected on the life of my kindergarten friend. I looked around the room and intently listened to each eulogy. I walked in her shoes once again.
Copyright © Gwendolen Rix