I started writing this article months ago. But the only part I didn’t delete was the short piece I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. I wrote a series of non-fiction/memoir pieces covering a wide range of memories and events from my life. I always come back to the goodbye essays, the ones where I remember beautiful people who have touched my life in ways I’ll never forget.
I wrote it to remember her and I’m sharing it here to honor her. It is my last smile and hug to her. My goodbye for now. I’ve included it as I wrote it last November, having no desire to alter a word.
I haven’t seen you in years, but that wasn’t my choice. But, even though I wanted to see you, asked again and again, I let it go and respected your wishes. I didn’t understand, but it wasn’t my place to ask or insist. And it also wasn’t my place to drive to your house and knock on your door to try and guilt you into letting me inside.
Instead, I kept in touch with you the best way I could. I emailed you letters and pictures and I snail-mailed you cards and photographs. And you responded with thanks, love and prayers. I smiled each time we were in touch, every time I saw your pretty, old-fashioned handwriting on a card. I cherished every message and every hello and prayer and hugs you sent.
You, my friend, were a beautiful soul, filled with genuine kindness. A light in this dark, dark world. You never spoke about it, but I know you were an artist. A very good artist, but you never boasted about it, never even mentioned it. And I heard you did something called dream-writing, and I based one of my stories around this concept.
Sitting here at my desk this Sunday afternoon, I think of you, remember your smile, even though I haven’t seen it in years. But I felt your love, your devout faith and your prayers. Always your prayers. I remembered you in prayer too, and I always will. I remember when Brian was in the hospital and he was so sick that the doctors were stumped. We were scared. Sonny must have told you and you emailed me. I still have your email and it was thoughtful, caring, filled with prayer but it also hit me in the heart. You prayed for his healing but you believed if God wanted him, he would go and be with his mother, who he still sorely misses. I know he misses his mom. He misses his whole family, but I’m selfish. I didn’t want him to go. I’ll never want him to go. I’d rather die a slow, painful death myself than see him go. But you were a realist. You knew about your own health struggles and what blessings of healing God gave you and what he didn’t.
I’m sorry, Dorothy, that you suffered so much both physically and emotionally. I’m sorry you felt anything but the love and healing you should have felt every day. I’m sorry you wouldn’t allow me and Brian into your home and your world. I’m sorry you felt you had to suffer alone. I’ll never know why, but I pray you’re finally at peace and happy with our Lord. I know you are. I know that a soul like yours could only go to one place, the only place with eternal light and joy.
It’s difficult not being able to say goodbye. There’s no closure for me. You’ll never see that last email I sent you with photos of Mark and Khloe. You’ll never see the Halloween card I mailed you. Maybe there’s a way we can say goodbye. Maybe if I feel your presence when I write, or see a bird that seems to want to say hello or maybe I’ll see you in a future dream. It’s selfish for me to want you to reach me. You have more important people to reach and family and friends to reunite with. More than that, you’re with God, and I know without a doubt that’s where you’ve always wanted to be and where you belong.
So, I’ll say goodbye for now, my sweet, wonderful friend. I will hold your memory in my heart until I die, and then I hope to see you again. I hope to see that smile, the one I faintly remember. But I’ll know your beautiful soul. I’ll recognize your love and unwavering faith. Rest always in peace, Dorothy. Always.