I've debated for three days on what to write, but the words just don't come. How do you say goodbye to a friend who was only 24 years old, when God chose to take her from this life. I think back to the nights playing UNO by candlelight during a thunderstorm, convincing her that I had to be careful because the lightning would be attracted to my braces, the days we would send her on missions so that she would leave us alone, the beautiful wedding cake she made for me. And then I think about her family, a second family to me for many years growing up. And I can't even imagine the pain they feel right now, but I talk to her sister and she reminds me that we may never see God's plan in this lifetime, but maybe He took Cassie home to bring someone else that is still here to Him. God works in miraculous and mysterious ways, ways that are far beyond our understanding. I'm not sure I could find that view if I were in her shoes, and I thank God I'm not. I have no idea what to say, but yet, it isn't the words that matter, it is being there for a friend. And its remembering Cassie's smile and nervous laughter as she was sure my cake topper was actually going to topple my wedding cake. There is no real way to say goodbye, but I do believe Cassie is in heaven and after the last year and a half, she is finally in no more pain. I'm sure she's in heaven now, and even though we've spent months praying for her recovery, God had a different plan, so now, we must pray for her family. Because as hard as it is to lose her as a friend, her parents and sister have lost a member of their family.
In trying to come up with something to say that would be appropriate and a tribute to Cassie, I have thought of many songs. But I didn't want to quote an entire song, so here's just a few lines from Mercy Me's Homesick.
"You're in a better place I've heard a thousand times, and at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you. But the reason why I'm broke, the reason why I cry is how long must I wait to be with you. I close my eyes and I see your face, if home's where my heart is then I'm out of place, Lord won't you give me strength to make it through somehow, I've never been more homesick than now."
Cassie, we will miss you!