While in the car one day this spring with my girls, I caught myself saying, “I sure hope Jacqueline and Rob don’t decide to move away.” They were away at the time, visiting their children and the freshest addition to their family, their beautiful granddaughter, Layla.
Unfortunately, shortly after this fateful day in the car, my fears were affirmed. My beloved minister and cherished friend was moving away … far, far away. And while I certainly understand the reason behind the move, I can’t help but mourn the loss of such a beautiful, beautiful friend.
Since arriving in Hudson Bay four years ago, this sweet, sweet lady has become one of my very, very best friends …
Sometimes, Jacqueline’s been a mom to me.
Sometimes, a marriage counsellor.
Many times, a confidante.
Always my cheerleader.
And often the voice of reason.
Jacqueline is ALWAYS a breath of fresh air. Her smile, her radiance, her laugh, her hugs … all of it is … just … so … beautiful.
SHE’S THE ONE I called while lying in the recovery room after I had my final baby 10 weeks early. Together, we settled on her middle name, Joy.
She’s one of the very few that I took to the NICU with me to witness the miracle that is Cambri (she took this picture for me).
She’s the one I turn to when I’m struggling with something.
And she’s also the one I run to when it’s time to celebrate.
She’s the one who came to our new home to visit, providing a special blessing for our home and our family as we navigated so much NEWNESS … a baby, the NICU, moving …
She’s also the one who baptized my baby.
She’s the one who reminds me of all my blessings.
She looks at my children and sees three incredible gifts (even when they’re arguing in church).
She’s the one who ALWAYS responds with compassion and understanding.
She’s the one who sees incredible value in music and song and dance, and how important they all are for our spirits.
She’s the one who my children have grown to love and cherish.
She’s the one who brings meaning to a biblical story, outlining its relevance in our lives today.
And she’s the absolute BEST face painter.
She’s the one who challenges me to “answer God’s call,” to be a better person, to live within my heart and be WELL.
She’s the one who gives me permission to follow a dream … pursue a passion.
She’s the one who rallies people together.
She’s the one who watched my baby a couple of times while I got my hair cut (and fed her her first bottle of water 😜).
She’s the one who recognizes people’s gifts and talents and puts them to work.
She’s the one who has read countless stories to my children (and sometimes ONLY my children) on the front pew in church.
She’s counselled my children; she’s counselled me. And she’s taught us ALL to pray.
She’s the one who brings people together.
She’s the one God gave to me when I needed someone the most … in these tough, tough years of early motherhood … and for this, I am just so incredibly grateful.
Your presence in my life, Jacqueline, has been such an extraordinary gift. These words just don’t seem like ENOUGH to really express my gratitude for all that is YOU!
I suspect God has plans for you yet; He needs you in BC … and He wants you to be with your children. He knows you are a gift … and He knows your gifts …
I will work HARD to heed to your most recent advice from Dr. Seuss … “Do not cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” But, right now, it’s just so, so … hard.
With SO MUCH love … Good-bye for now my sweet friend,