Monday, April 8, 2013

The Girl Next Door

My friend and neighbor, Elisha Skeen, spent the last 18 months fighting cancer.  It was a roller-coaster ride with more downs than ups, and it ended very badly.

She died last Tuesday.

I can't quite wrap my brain around that.

I've spent the last hour and half re-reading her blog.  I swear when I read her words, it's like she still lives next door.  It feels like I could get a text from her any minute telling me what she ate for lunch and asking me if my meal choices were any better than hers.  For the record, most of the time, they weren't.  We shared that weakness.  

I miss her.

There are so many things I want to tell her about.  Things I would tell her because she would totally get it.

Like, the week before last, my husband brought home six baby chicks.  WHAT?!  We're not chicken farmers!  Her husband, Steven, is a chicken farmer, thereby making Elisha a chicken farmer.  But I am NOT a chicken farmer.  Except now it seems I AM a chicken farmer.

Again, WHAT?!

Elisha would understand my shock and confusion.  I never expected to be married to a man who wants me to go out every evening and gather eggs.  How did this happen?

I want to tell her he brought home a rabbit that week too.  What is happening here?  Who is this man, and what did he do with my husband?  This is all Steven's fault...

I can totally see Elisha and I walking up and down "the compound" talking about how crazy all this is.  We'd be taking turns pushing her son, Sawyer, in the stroller, all the while talking, cracking jokes, laughing...   It makes me smile.

It also makes me cry.

...

It's not like Elisha and I were best friends.  We somehow ended up living on the same road, married to childhood best friends, each of us right next door to our in-laws.  If that isn't enough to bond us for life, I don't know what is.  It was inevitable that our lives would be intertwined on a daily basis.  We were neighbors, and we were friends.

We didn't see each other every day.  But we chatted via Facebook or text on an almost-daily basis.  And it was always funny.  Even when things were bad for her, she somehow made it funny.  That's just who she was.

I hate saying "was".

...

I spent the first four days following her death trying to focus on how to help Steven and Sawyer.  That somehow made it easier to cope.  It wasn't until I woke up Saturday morning that I found myself sobbing uncontrollably.  That continued much of the day.  I am so heartbroken.

Understand.  I am not heartbroken for Elisha.  Not anymore.

I know she is so much happier in heaven, finally living pain free, and singing praises at the feet of Jesus.  How awesome is that to imagine?

I'm heartbroken for me.

Because there are some things that only the girl next door would understand.

...


2 comments:

Buffie Cullens said...

What a beatiful tribute to Elisha. May the Lord be near you as you endure the loss of your friend. As He was glorfied by the live Elisha led, may He also be glorified as she is remembered by those whom she loved.

kalewatkins said...

Beautifully written because it is from the heart. I hope to meet you at the Tour De Kale.