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Friendship is a Gift from God

Friendship is a Gift from God

Everyone has that one friend who you have not seen for a long time but the moment you reconnect you begin where you left off. That was how it was with Millie and me. 

I was given this plague from my dear friend Millie. 

“Friends: You are a special gift from God.” 

Best friends know when you are having a rough day. They surprise you with a kind word. They cheer you on to be the very best that you can be. 

A friend knows the importance of supporting a friend who is going through a rough time. You can support a friend from a far by telephone and the computer, when you can’t be there in person. Millie and I did! 

Friends stick together through thick and thin. Millie helped me see a situation in a different way and get me to laugh. I have also written my book about Millie, as it is my way of remembering a good friend who I miss a lot. 

In September 1977, at Port Hope High School, I first met Millie when I was 17 and Millie was 15. We had typing class together. We spent our lunch hours together. 

Over the course of time I lost track of Millie after High School. 

I remember coming home one Friday afternoon from shopping in December after Christmas. A message was in my inbox that my friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Millie had known before Christmas but had waited to tell me until after Christmas. 

The news took me aback. My friend Millie was sick. I had wished we kept in better touch. When I received this news, I telephoned Millie–it was good to hear her voice. We talked and began where we had left off. We discussed her diagnosis and upcoming treatment of chemotherapy. We were in frequent contact over the phone as we were separated three hours by car. 

Six months after we reconnected by phone, we met over lunch for my husband’s birthday after church. I was taken aback by seeing Millie without hair, but Millie was still the same Millie inside and she visited and we giggled. 

When her treatment of chemotherapy was finished, Millie drove three hours up to my home for a week. We went shopping and we were reminiscing over memories of my parents and memories of pushing a car that ran out of gas and going to class later. It was soothing to have someone who remembered my parents. It was good to have a reason to visit my home town. 

I would listen and pray for Millie and she would calm down. I would listen and let Millie vent. From experience, when I was upset I just wanted people to listen to me and understand. Millie listened to me. 

I am very glad to have Millie in my life. We talked about our memories of going to the beach. Millie talked about bringing her boys to the beach. We talked about life. I marveled at how Millie could continue to carry on. I marveled at her stamina and energy she had. She would often say to me, “Marg, I am in good health and feel good the only thing is I have cancer but it doesn’t have me!” 

Millie inspired me when she talked about walking in Relay for Life. I decided that I would like to walk with Millie. 

I started training in the winter to walk and walking was a challenge. I walked in the mall and not outside as it was icy outdoors. I was not about to fall on the ice. 

I found a six week walking plan which I followed. I went from 5 minutes to 30 minutes of walking. I kept track of every day that I walked in a log. I gave people my progress on Facebook with how far I walked and I put on pictures of me walking. 

It hurt me to walk. I was using a cane to get around. My back and my knees hurt. I was staying inside as I was afraid to go outside. During this time, Millie got me going out again and doing things again. 

We celebrated our birthdays. We laughed about that and it lightened our day. Our birthdays were a day apart. 

We went shopping together. We went swimming together. We went to the market together. These were fun memories. We dressed up. We supported each other when life was good and tough. 

Unfortunately, our times were not always good. 

In 2015 Millie’s lungs collapsed. Millie’s cancer came back. 

On May 4, 2016, Millie phoned to tell me that she had more cancer and that the chemotherapy was not working. My heart ached as I heard a dejected voice over the phone. I did not know what to say. 

A wave of reality hovered over me like a dark cloud. Millie would remind me “Margaret it is okay. It is in God’s hands.” I tried to understand the truth that Millie’s days were numbered. I just wanted to concentrate on the time we would spend together. 

This last time Millie fell into my arms, crying and upset that there was nothing the doctors could do for her. I held her and prayed with her. 

When we parted our ways, we always said I love you. The words were always easy to say. 

I read words of encouragement from God’s word and pray. It encouraged both of us. 

1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all your care on Him for He cares for you. (King James Translation Version. of the Bible) 

“I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 KJV 

I was glad that I could draw my strength from the Lord. I had learned these verses as a child and now I was drawing strength from Gods word. 

Millie fought long and hard for her life. My friend passed away July 12, 2016. 

Our friendship may have ended here on earth. I know that I will see my friend again in Heaven. 

Friendships are a gift from God.

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