“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”—Author Unknown
On Easter Monday I received a phone call from my best friend in the world—a friend who's been in my life for thirty-three years.
The instant I answered the phone I had an ominous feeling. My friend’s first words to me were, “Tommy died today at 3 o’clock.”
Tommy was her oldest son. He was only forty-eight. He leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter.
Since the time Tommy was sixteen, he’d been sick. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Over the years, he’d had two double transplants adding functioning kidneys and a pancreas in an effort to save his life.
Later, when the transplants were reaching the end of their life-giving usefulness, he was fitted with an insulin pump. It was clear from the start that the pump was not going to help abate his diabetes. For the last two years, Tommy underwent dialysis three times a week with each session lasting for hours.
He would come home from dialysis weakened and weary.
Tommy had to have several amputations. He suffered in silence but was incredibly brave.
His wife says that on Easter Sunday, he struck out on his own to visit his father at his home and then weakly climbed into his truck to visit with his mom—almost as though he knew his time on earth was drawing to a close.
On Easter Monday, his brother Ronnie called my best friend imploring her to come to the hospital right away, but pleaded with her to drive carefully. She didn’t arrive in time to say goodbye.
Tommy was, to me, a brave man who fought the ravages of diabetes with courage and grace. He was quick to laugh and quick to encourage. He was an inspiration to all who knew him.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. He was a good man and a good friend. He has gone to be with The Father—to bathe in the glory of God—to never know another moment of suffering or pain.
His memorial service will be held on Thursday.
There will be no blogging until I get back home from Tommy's memorial service and spend a little time with his mom, my best friend, in an effort to console her in her dark hours of mourning.