Johnny and I fought for attention in all the high school classes that we had together. I specifically remember my English class though, where every chance we got, we would have the classroom bursting in laughter. It was our stage and the hallway (where we would end up sometimes for disturbing the class) was our greenroom where we would strategize our next act and wait for the cue to re-enter the stage…for an encore, of course. We were best friends. In our senior year, when he was voted The Class Clown and got featured in the yearbook, I was proud of him. He deserved it. Someone told me that I was the runner up with the votes, but I was glad I didn’t win; he was funnier than me. Funnier looking!!!
Our friendship continued through college, then the weddings, then the kids…in fact, I remember sitting around reminiscing about our high school days laughing our heads off as our kids were running around at his son’s birthday party. I remember laughing specifically about the one time when the cops had to escort us back to school and called our parents. Good times. Good times.
The last time I saw Johnny was at the Nevada Day Parade; we sat in his truck. I don’t remember our conversation. I knew he was just starting to get sick again (his father’s kidney that replaced Johnny’s at a young age was coming to the end of its life cycle) but we were both hopeful of what was to come…a new kidney and more borrowed time to fully live out his life, more bursts of laughter he would create for all those around him, and just more of Johnny in my life…he unexpectedly passed soon after. And I still really, really miss him.
Everyone has a story. A story of the beginning, a story of the middle, and a the story of the end. Lately, I am reminded, and my heart is being re-shaped, by the story of the end. Is it weird that sometimes I stop and look around at the faces in a crowded room, and I am reminded that we are all on borrowed time? Is it weird that sometimes when I look at someone I love dearly, I am reminded that we are also on borrowed time? Well, we ARE! We are on borrowed time…but only here on earth.
Eternity follows after! Yes! Eternity follows after! That’s where my hope comes from!! That’s where my continuous joy comes from and that’s where I can freely celebrate all parts of the story…the beginning, the middle and the end. And until the story of my end, here on earth, on borrowed time, I will remain hopeful of what is to come, and I will fully live my life with more hope. I will surround myself with more bursts of laughter, and I will live fully embracing, loving and serving others more because…that’s what Johnny taught me.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
This was written with a heavy yet hopeful heart for someone who lost her best friend last night.