I wrote this Monday and thought I’d share here as well. It is heartfelt and full of emotion.
Dear Maria Miller:
Meeting each other online all those years ago ended up being one of the absolute best things to happen to us both. We have helped each other through some trying times in our lives, and we have also been each other’s biggest fans and cheerleaders along the way. We have watched our children grow up over all of these years. Who would have ever thought that a lonely single mother venturing into the online world 23 and 1/2 years ago seeking friendship would have resulted in friendships that have and will last a lifetime?! Sure, we’ve all had our ups and downs through these years – that is a part of life – but the important thing is that we always find our way back to each other. Our friendship is THAT important and a huge part of our lives. How did we ever live without each other? From silly times playing on words in the “lounge” to serious subjects and matters of the heart, we have shared just about everything with each other.
I’m so grateful for your caring, forgiving, and loving heart. You have such compassion for others and have not been afraid to lend a helping hand, no matter how it stretches you. You have given freely of yourself and the resources that you have, and now we all, in turn, give to you from the bottom of our hearts. We wish there was more we could do at this time, but we know the most important thing we can do is remain by your side and pray to our Heavenly Father for your healing. And we do! We are flooding Heaven with our prayers for you, calling you by name before Him, and we KNOW He hears us all. MATTHEW 18:20 KJV “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
No matter what your team of physicians have said, He has the final word! He is the author of your life. He knows every thing about you, even that your favorite word is the “F bomb,” and He loves you … oh how He loves you!! I will not get “preachy” on you, but I will tell you with complete confidence that God knows the plans for your life, every single one of them, and He provides Hope for you and your future. Jeremiah 29:11 provides such comfort for me, and I hope it will for you as well: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
You have struggled, and you have smiled. You have continued with a brave face at times, and other times you show your most vulnerable side to us. We love each and every part of you and encourage you to continue to be as transparent as you feel necessary as we walk alongside you. You are NEVER alone … EVER! Please know that.
You might be one candle, but that is all it has taken to pierce the darkness and shine so brightly for the world to see. That’s you. That’s OUR Maria.
When I first learned of your diagnosis, I cried for days … big old ugly face crying. There is no graceful way to cry when you learn that kind of news. I cried for you, for Mike, for your children and grandchildren, and for your extended family and friends like me. Our hearts were broken right alongside your very own. There is no other way to say it. Words fail at a time like that, and all I could do was reach out to you and to God. And I’ll continue to reach out to you and to God. Neither of you will be able to get rid of me. Ha! You’re both stuck with me. But I want you to know that even in this, God is close to the brokenhearted, and I KNOW he has been close to you and even carried you through the months when you were so close to death and did not even realize it. I’m thankful for how God carried you through this. Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” This is who we are: the brokenhearted! We are brokenhearted for you and your family, but we are comforted knowing that the Lord is near us and is helping you — and all of us that know and love you –through this. Just like the little sign I sent you says, “We may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow!”
In four days, we will meet each other for the very first time. I have a lot of emotions going at this time. I’m so incredibly happy to FINALLY meet you! We tried a few years ago, but it wasn’t meant to be. Now, it is going to happen!! I will promise not to be a babbling mess all weekend, for there is FUN to be had and lots of laughter to be shared. I am looking forward to it all with you, Mike, and Dusty!!
We have several things planned for the weekend. I am absolutely **thrilled** to be able to share some of the very “first” adventures you’ve taken … knowing I’ll be right there with you as you experience them all!! We will be gentle, and please know that if, at any time, you need a breather from us, you are free to take all the breaks you need. We do not want you to feel self conscious at all about anything! We are understanding and know that chemotherapy has left you unable to cope with the heat of the summer. We are bringing a mini portable personal misting fan/air conditioner for you that some of the fellows use on construction jobs sites. We hope this will help you on the trail, although we aren’t going to push you even though we know you are wanting to push yourself! The hotel, horseback riding adventure, and cave kayaking adventure have all been booked and paid for, now let the fun begin! Don’t forget to wear light, comfortable clothing for the waterfalls and horseback riding, but be sure to bring a jacket, as the cave is supposed to be 55 degrees inside for the kayak adventure!
I have written a mini novel with this post, but remember I AM a member of the long post club from the “lounge” days.
I’ll end this post with much excitement and anticipation. Four days stand between us meeting each other for the first time in real life, and I seriously did start packing a few things last night so I didn’t forget them!! I hope you like me in real life!! LOL
I love you, woman!!! Always and forever!
(I am sharing a picture of Maria and her husband Mike. Maria LOVES snow, and here you can see how happy she is with the love of her life beside her and what looks like a light dusting of snow in the background.)