Today, my grandmother, Helen, lost her best friend . She was a few weeks shy of 90 years old, and she was a great lady. I have many happy memories of her and her husband when I was a child. My grandmother, who is also getting very close to 90, has had two long marriages. I am not sure how long she was married each time, but her best friend, whose name was also Helen , was there through both marriages, and lost spouses. Helen's husband passed away the same week that I graduated from high school, so she lived as a widow for the past 14 years. I was always amazed at her age,because she always looked and acted so young. She was very sharp in her mind, even the last time I saw her, about a month ago. I went to see her in the hospital, this woman who watched me grow. She was suffering, but she was concerned about the hardships she knew I was going through in my life. I had the chance to pray with her, and it was a precious moment that I am glad that I took the time for.
Helen was my grandmother's best friend for 76 years. My sister and I decided that her loss would probably as difficult for our grandmother as the losses of her husbands! When they were young wives and mothers, they lived down the road from each other. They went to the same church, and they raised their each only children like brother and sister.
Today, my mother took my grandmother to see Helen, whose son had reported that she was near death. She had been hanging on that way for several days. When my grandmother arrived, she took Helen's hand in hers. My mother reported to me that she died 5 minutes later, with my grandmother still holding her hand.
This is a story of friendship that totally gives me the shivers. I can only hope and pray that my relationships can be as full of love and devotion.
Recently, I was struck by a message I heard about friendship. It was the story of David and Jonathon in the Old Testement. First Samuel 18 tells how Jonathon, who was the son of Saul, became friends with David, and they had an "immediate bond of love" according to verse one of chapter 18. Jonathon loved and cared for David as a friend. He protected him from his own father. What a picture of love and loyalty.