Sunday, July 29, 2012

Remembering Rachel Part 2

Just the other day, something personal happened and I wanted to talk it through with someone.  I was babysitting a friend's adorable baby, so I was kind of occupied all day.  After the sweet baby went home, I ran to the store.  Trips alone in solitude are usually the time that I would call Rachel and talk things through with her.  (I remember she'd often answer the phone "hello chica")  It's hard to talk uninterrupted when you have a 7 year old.  Funny thing is that getting on the phone immediately spurs an involuntary alarm in your child's brain that they need their mom.  Now. Not later. Yes, it is an emergency.  You get the point. I finished my quick shopping trip and sat down in my car.  Truly in an involuntary response, I picked up my phone to call Rachel. Before I hit my contacts list, I remembered that I can't call her.  I drove home that afternoon with the music off and in silence.  I'm praying to soon get to a point that I have those moments and smile.  Smile because I had Rachel in my life.  She was a wonderful part of my life.  Not many people can say that they had a friend like Rachel.  I can.  I need to be thankful that she was part of my life, and grateful that I will see her again when it's my turn to meet Jesus.

Rachel loved to play games.  She loved competition and was always good at almost every game.  It was hard to beat Rachel.  You quickly realized that if you wanted to win, you'd better get on Rachel's team. In fact, Paul and I were playing a game with Rachel and Dennis once when we were visiting the Orlando area.  Austin was just a baby.  Rachel and I were playing against Dennis and Paul.  Rachel and I were absolutely beating the pants off of Paul and Dennis.  The guys started laughing, really hard, about their demise in the game.  Paul fell backwards and passed out.  All of the sudden, it wasn't funny anymore.  When he woke up, I took him to the ER. Paul ended up being okay.  He pinched a nerve that caused him to pass out.  This was all from laughing too hard.  While I took Paul to the ER, Rachel and Dennis stayed in our hotel room with Austin.  They didn't have a problem, and gave up their own comfort to sleep the majority of night in our room so we could make sure Paul was okay.  That's the kind of friend Rachel was, the kind who was always loving and selfless.

Last night, Dennis hosted a game night in honor of Rachel.  To be honest, I was a bit nervous that I might be sad while I was at Rachel and Dennis' house.  I didn't want to ruin the party with my tears.  Instead of the night being an evening of sadness, it ended up being a really fun time.  It was a great time of laughing a lot with her family and friends.  It was good to see Dennis.  I even got to see the last scrapbook that Rachel was working on.  The last time I left her house, I was sobbing all the way to the car.  This time, I left with a smile. A smile of gratefulness for her friendship.  I will always miss my friend.  Today, I'm grateful for her.  I'm so thankful I got to have a friend like Rachel.  It ended way too soon, but I'm so thankful that I had the 11 years with her that I did.  'Till we meet again in the arms of Jesus, I'll always cherish you in my heart Rachel.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remembering Rachel- Part 1


The person I called for almost everything.

A reliable friend.

Someone who helped everyone, all the time.

An excellent teacher.

Someone who was always working on another language to learn.

The friend I told things to that I would never tell anyone else.

The one who would always remind me to look to Christ.

The person I had a lot of plans with for the future.

It was going to be so great.

But then the Lord called her home.  My heart is broken that she is gone.  Without warning, my friend went home to be with Jesus.

I miss her dearly.

I want to honor her memory.  I want people to know how great she was, and how her life truly honored the Lord.  I don't want to forget how wonderful it was to have her as part of my life.

Rachel and I met when we were first year teachers.  We were both crazy enough to take a job in a ghetto school.  I mean it was terrible.  It was right between 2 high poverty housing projects.

During the first days of pre-planning, Rachel and I were in the same "new teachers" meeting.  Mind you, out of maybe 25 or 30 teachers at the school, about 15 were first year brand new teachers.  Warning sign #1 that we should never have taken a job in that school.  As we were in the meeting, we were told that they would not be able to help us if we didn't tell them how we needed help.  Rachel piped up and said "excuse me, but how are we supposed to know what we need help on if we are first year teachers and don't know what we don't know".  That very second I began to like Rachel a lot. :) It was after the meeting that our friendship began to blossom.

School started and it was crazy.  We dealt with behaviors that you would never think a small child would exhibit.  Many many days we spent time after school in one another's classroom venting about what we had dealt with that day.

As I got to know Rachel, one thing that became evident was the absence of the Lord in her life.  2 other co-workers and myself began to pray for her.  Eventually, I invited her to church.  She started to come with me. At the end of the school year, Rachel accepted Jesus as her personal Savior.  It is because of that decision that she's with the Lord now.

I miss Rachel, a lot.  I've picked up my phone several times since she's passed to call her. I'll always miss her.  Always.  But I know that when it's my turn to meet Jesus, Rachel will be there waiting for me.

So you might be reading this thinking that you don't care about the ins and outs of my friendship with Rachel. That's not the point of writing several blog posts about her.  I want to convey what kind of person she was, and I hope I can do her justice.

To Rachel, my sweet friend, I will always miss you.