Today I’m driving to a Memorial service for a special lady. You see, my friend Daphne passed away to glory on Nov 4th after a long illness. She was so stubborn that the doctors and nurses were pretty amazed at her stamina. But then they didn’t know Daphne until she got sick. I’ve known her for over 25 years.
I remember first meeting Daphne. It was dinner and a card game at her house with Joe. The kids were little, stealing shoes and hiding them so we couldn’t go home until they were found. This lady who couldn’t shuffle cards at all had an infectious giggle and kind brown eyes. Well, they were kind until her husband Joe would tease her. He knew to duck when she’d yell, “Joseph!”
There was something there that told me I would be very good friends for a very long time.
And we were. You see, Daphne became my guardian angel on earth. She knew something was wrong in my house. And when things fell apart, she was there. We would go to the ocean and sit and let the waves wash away my pain.
She loved her family so. When she moved away to another state and times got tough, she sold her beloved teacup collection for grocery money to get by, and never regretted it. Sharing tea and cucumber sandwiches with her at different local tea houses became our favorite outing.
When I couldn’t have kids she counseled me…helped me get through that hard stuff. And when I brought a little red-headed boy home, she loved him like a grandchild. And we rejoiced. She cared for him until I could afford daycare. She saw his first steps…
When I was invited to a local Christian singles' group, she encouraged me to go. And when I found my Prince Charming, she rejoiced with me. She helped me plan the wedding and kept me organized. She was my Matron of Honor and stood by my side.
And when we moved away, she understood I would not be seeing her very much. You see, when we told her we needed to move closer to Tom’s kids, she understood. She loved her kids so much, she knew what it cost to love your children unconditionally.
My faith grew because of her gentle encouragement with hand written prayer journals and quiet conversation. She was no Bible thumper, she was the fragrance of Christ. She showed me unconditional love and told me about the magnitude of His love—Agape Love—that she experienced. Her faith was not a religion, it was a relationship and she lived it out every day.
In her garden, planting the backyard with vegetables and the front yard with flowers, she saw the miracle of growing things. While crafting things, she felt the pain of creating—a feathered angel wing placed just so with hot glue that would blister her fingertips. At the ocean’s edge, she saw the awesomeness of His forgiveness—a never ending washing away of sins. In her church, the love for worship extended to her life in music and fascination with Christmas.
It was that unconditional love that she showed to her family, friends and church that is a gift to us all. To love with no strings attached is what Jesus was all about to her. She loved, because she knew she was loved—unconditionally.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.