Hanging on to Hope

I’m struggling.  My best friend’s husband is dying.  I feel clumsy, so clumsy.   I want to help; I don’t know how.

My emotions feel raw.  My eyes fill with tears.  I love her so much and feel her pain.

“This is life,” she tells me “And it’s the pits.”

I’m honest and ask her if I’m doing enough.  Does she feel my prayers?  Does she feel God’s strength pouring into her to feed him, clothe him, and shower him?

Her petite frame looks worn out.  She quotes the Word.  God will never leave me or forsake me.  He is my strength and my song.

She tells me too many people drop by the house.  It overwhelms her.

She has to say, “Please don’t come.”

She needs quiet and space to refuel.  Seems other friends want to know their part in this too!  She assures me she knows she can text me or call.  She knows she can count on me.

I get the text to meet in Old Town for breakfast.  In the restaurant, we cry over eggs and bacon.  I tell her I hate cancer.  I speak lovingly of her Christian husband and reminisce about those inspirational times at lunch as a foursome.   I’m sad he is fading, but I praise God for grace.  The slow process gives her time to adjust to the idea of death.  She agrees.

She’s always been picky about her coffee.  She pays a company in Old Town to roast it and grind it special for her taste.  Her order is ready.

“Know that I can pick up coffee orders and deliver them to you.  Or do you need to get out of the house?”  I ask.

“Yes!  I need to draw strength from you, a good breakfast and someone to cry with.”

She tells me the kids flew home last month.  She expresses their loving talks and tears with their father.  His strength fails day by day.  We praise God for perfect timing to say goodbye.

She wants me to talk about my family.  She giggles when I share stories of my grandchildren and I smile when I see her spirit lift.

That evening I get her text telling me our time together uplifts her.  She thanks God for everything.  She thanks God for me. 

It makes me cry and I seek comfort in my husband’s embrace.   I hear him say everything will be okay.  Death, the ultimate healing, nears.

Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed.
 Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law.  Galatians 6:2

Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy;
 share tears when they’re down.  Romans 12:15


  1. What a gift you are, Mary! ... Unconditional, unexpectant love.

    I'm so sorry your hearts are hurting, but I'm indebted for this important lesson. Death, the ultimate healing. Wow.

    1. P.S. - Your new header makes my heart smile!

  2. My heart breaks for your friend, her family and you as well. There is comfort in knowing he will be waiting in glory for her. I have a friend(not as close as yours)whose hubby is also fighting cancer. He just came home from the hospital with lots of morphine to help with the pain. I sensed she is withdrawing from me, from others-she knows we are all praying for him and for the grace as she walks through the journey. It sure makes us appreciate and cling to our hubby's, doesn't it. We need to cherish each day, we never know when our time may come. Sending hugs to you.

  3. I am so sorry for your friend. I can't imagine what the family is going through but it is good they have a faith. It is always hard to know how to help people during times like this, it is good that you know when to be there, when just to lift up in prayer, etc. Your and her friendship is a treasured one indeed.


  4. What a treasured friend you are, Mary. Your friend has much adjustment to go through. I will be praying. I understand that situation when there are too many people around. I felt the same way. It's a fine line between wanting people around and wanting to be alone. Prayer for both of you.

  5. It took me back sister Mary when my dad was dying from cancer also. Some days I didn't want throng of people constantly coming over because I felt that it was draining him out. But he said he would rather see everyone who was close to his heart despite his weakening body. It's good that your friend knows when to have the needed silence just to recover. And so good to know you're also sensitive to what she might need from you. What beautiful friendship and I know when it's true, despite the heavy burden, surely lightens when one friend shares that burden or pain.

    I will pray for you also and for your friend and her husband and family. And that hope you're clinging to...is indeed eternal. I love the way you said that "death is the ultimate healing..." God bless and strengthen you both...

  6. Mary, I am praying for you, your best friend and her husband. It is difficult to know what to do or say under these circumstances, and believe me, I understand. My best friend, whose name is also Linda, and is 6 years older than myself, her husband has been in the hospital emergency rooms, had hospital stays and is back at home now. He had a minor stroke. Linda thinks he is dying. :( But thankfully she is a christian and thankfully she welcomes my company and we chat practically every evening on the phone and meet once a week for breakfast. I have not mentioned this on my blog because sometimes I don't always feel comfortable sharing things, but since your situation is so similar to mine I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. No matter what happens, God is with us, and this is something that never fails. You are a very good friend, Mary, God bless you.

  7. I have tears in my eyes. So real. Life hurts, but God is good.

  8. Dear Mary! I am SO very sorry. She is abundantly blessed to have you as a friend. :) Sending you love and hugs, sweet friend.

  9. You are a good friend, Mary. I went through this with my best friend five years ago, and she still comments on how much she appreciated the little unobtrusive things--like coffee and a few minutes of open honesty shared at our favorite table in a local cafe. Praying for you and your friend and her husband.

  10. Hi Mary! I know that if you are praying, and are honest, you will make an impact. I can't imagine how hard it must be to watch your friend in so much pain. Of course you want to be helpful! Sometimes just being in the background helps the most, although I know you want to do more.
    Your friend is blessed to have you in her life. I think some would not know what to say, or be overwhelmed by the situation. You want to be Christ to her, and you are doing that...I know you'll continue to do it too.
    God bless,

  11. My heart breaks for your friend… but not the way I grieve for the lost. We'll all be having coffee on the other side one day. Until then, it's a blessing to have friends, sisters and brothers in Christ, to help carry the burden.

    Praying for your friend's husband, her, and you and Tom. Your heart of caring is a wonderful gift.

  12. Thank you for sharing this strong personal info. You are putting the info necessary for many, many people. They can turn their hearts to you and your friend. Bless you and thank you. I can't read as well or see as well, but I can focus on the Lord re: this situation. Bless you...

  13. Oh Mary, my heart is so moved this morning reading your post. I DESPISE cancer. It's ugly! Praying right this moment for your friend and for her spouse. Praising God for you Mary. You are a true friend. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  14. It really a hard time.. I'm sitting far away.. still I'm feeling so sad.. :(..
    A big hug...

    Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com

  15. Mary, you are a good friend and a much needed friend. Others draw strength from her, but you pour it into her.
    Cry, laugh, pray and be there is all I can say. Thank you for sharing with us here. Your posts carry a message even when times are sad. Love it. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  16. Life situations are just so hard sometimes. The right words are elusive, and gestures to show love and caring may not be accepted or needed, and so, we look to our Saviour, as you are, and pray and ask the Lord to do the work that we cannot do. And He does. And that is what He is doing. Your friend is being lifted up by the cares and prayers of those around her, and you are holding her up as you pray. I will add your friend and her husband to my prayer list that the Lord will be a great comfort in their lives! Blessings and hugs to you dear friend!


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