Type 1 Diabetes, Quadruple Bypass, Stage 4 Kidney Disease, Breast Cancer, Congestive Heart Failure, Gangrene of the right toe - scheduled for amputation, are all in Sheryl’s medical report. Yet, with a beguiling smile, she gives no special credence to any of them.
Sheryl is a conquering warrior, a teacher, and a profound example of the Lord’s grace… exquisite in so many ways. She is also my friend.
“I get Tuesdays and Thursdays” I typed out over e-mail claiming my territory of time with Sheryl.
“Okay, then I’ll take Monday to take her to dialysis, and then I’ll take her home when she’s done. And I can take her on Friday too if she needs a ride ” Lanice responded back.
I wanted to type “Lanice, you're seventy years old and already have your 92 year old mother you cater to, taking her everyplace her heart desires. Don’t wear yourself out!”
However, she knows the cost of commitment very well, and I know that.
Therefore, I wrote back, “Thank you Lanice for being Johnny on the spot for Sheryl. Monday is yours and probably Friday unless we get another volunteer.”
Kathy wrote: “I can help her out on Wednesday. Be there at 2:00 at her house to pick her up?”
I marveled “How does Kathy do it? Who is she Superwoman? She already runs two businesses, distributes current news of Israel’s situation to hundreds of people via e-mail, attends Bible studies, and leads one at her house on Thursdays.” I wanted to type, “Are you sure you have the time?”
However, I respect her wisdom and know she doesn’t need me to remind her of her busy schedule.
I answered, “Yes, her appointment is at 2:30, so picking her up at 2:00 should give her enough time. Sometimes it takes her a while to get out the door. That way you won’t be in such a rush to get her to her appointment on time.”
“2:00 it is!” She wrote back.
“Thanks gals, I really appreciate your help and know for sure Sheryl does too.”
“What a lame response” I thought. The words blurred on the screen as I typed through tears welling in my eyes wondering, “How does one e-mail to the heart and hands of Jesus? What can I say?” I was dumbfounded, and frustrated with my inability to express my true gratitude. However, with a sense of relief, I took a deep breath knowing Sheryl’s week was in good hands.
Then I hit send.
On Sheryl’s roller coaster ride of survival, we carefully watch to capture the high moments to celebrate. We are her friends who see her beauty as she dances through life, teaching us to relish the valuable time the Lord gives us.
“She looks really good today” we whispered with bright eyes in Kathy’s kitchen as Sheryl sat in the living room waiting for Bible study.
I would not be there if not for her.
The Bible study began with the four of us sitting around on comfortable couches as Kathy sat on the floor to teach us. Exuberantly, she brought the Word to life in a way I never experienced. “What a wonderful gift she has!” I mused, then looked at Sheryl hoping she enjoyed the moment like I, partaking in the most excellent of medications. I watched her intently listening to Kathy’s teachings thinking, “She couldn’t be at a better place than this… on Thursday… my day.”
Two hours later the study ended with my mind whirling with new understanding.
Sheryl looked tired.
“Should you check your blood sugar? …Charlie would want me to ask” I remarked jestfully laying responsibility on her husband for my intrusiveness.
With hazy blue eyes she smiled, “Yeah, I guess I should” sluggishly reaching for her test kit lying on the floor next to her. She tested her blood. “It’s at 164”.
“Oh that’s GOOD,” we all said nodding with encouragement.
Then, we prayed.
Then, we all stood and slowly walked outside together with Sheryl holding my arm.
Standing in the driveway, we all gave each other strong hugs with gentle pats on the back. “I love you, see you on Sunday.”
“See you tomorrow” Lanice said as Sheryl tightly embraced her.
“Ok, see you tomorrow.” Sheryl smiled sinking into the passenger seat of my car.
Driving back to Sheryl’s house, we chatted the whole way about our husbands, our children, our friends, our gardens… expecting another day of the Lord’s blessings.
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