Did you ever say that?
I've had a few really great role models but until lately I don't know if I've said 'just like her.' Sure there are role models I have where I really admire them but typically it's a handful of attributes I would want to emulate.
In the last 2 years God brought into my life 2 women who I was slowly getting to know better, and as I did I saw someone I increasingly desired to model myself after. It was about a year ago I realized I really wanted to intentionally seek out a source relationship, someone who could mentor me, especially spiritually. I felt one of these two women could definitely be that source, I just had to be patient and let God do the networking, that's how I would know it was the right fit. Trouble is, when you find a woman like that, and she's a few years older than me (12-20ish) she already has quite the community surrounding her, so moving into deeper relationship moved slowly.
And so I waited patiently. I saw a deep affection was building, especially when life got hard six months ago. That's when both of these relationships really took a step deeper, yet I knew the timing wasn't quite right to initiate something more intentional. Life started getting more challenging for both these women in February and the time they had available shrunk. Our connection times were fewer and while our moments together couldn't afford going any deeper, what moments we did have were still strong and encouraging.
And so I waited patiently. And then in May we found out one of these women's challenges would mean they were moving back to the USA. It was unexpected and not planned, but their family circumstance dictated the move. And not only did I lose a friend and potential source, but her husband has been Sean's source and mentor for the last 2 years. But life happens, and we knew God was moving evidently in their circumstances, so I made peace with the bittersweet goodbye.
And so I waited patiently. Meanwhile, my other friend's life was also getting more challenging, I hardly saw her at all since February, with a daughter's illness, father-in-law's passing, and then needing a break so they took a few weeks to visit family in BC. Shortly after returning in early July she suffered a seizure due to an aneurysm. As I mentioned last week, she didn't survive it.
From what I knew of her before her passing, I knew this loss was significant. From what I know of her now, since her funeral, the loss is even more substantial. I found out so many amazing things about her from tributes that showed me how perfect she would have been as that source relationship. Even small things. Like she wears her heart on her sleeve, like I do, and she couldn't and didn't want to hide her emotions. Like she felt things deeply, something that has been said about me in those exact terms. And like attributes I've wanted to flourish more in my life, she had them in spades! Like what kind of co-worker she was and what kind of mother she was. And like her education (slightly different than her job, so I didn't know about) which is exactly what I have had a passion for and recently a nudge to possibly pursue. I actually started taking notes during her tributes, because it was like a they were describing a template for the me I've wanted to be.
And so it makes me wonder even more why she was taken away so soon. But as was said very frequently during her funeral, her spirit lives on in us, and I know that I have taken that to heart and I intend to take that up as a personal challenge. In fact, I actually have a tattoo scheduled in a week, a burning heart on my 'sleeve'. It represents that I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that I feel things deeply, what is imprinted on my heart burns with a deep passion, and I am on fire for those passions planted in my heart. This to me sums up what I learned from her life and so I am glad the timing of this tattoo is what it is (it's been hitting delays for 3 years), because now it is also partly a memorial tattoo.
And so I don't really know where to go from here. And so I wait patiently.