Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tribute to a Friend, Brenda

Today is Tuesday, August 10 and I just recieved news of the passing of my dear friend, Brenda. It feels unreal to me, but yet it is the truth. I wanted to tell her so many things, but we did not have the time. I wanted to be there for her, but things went differently.

So how do you mourn the lost of a 20 year friendship? For me the only way I know is to write it down. I have no doubt that she loved me and that she knew I loved her. I was able to tell her that when I visited her a few weeks ago. She looked at me and said, I am so glad to see your face and I love you so much.

I felt bad because I didn't know she was sick. I had called recently but I often got the voicemail. Sometimes I left a message and other times I didn't. But to see her and know that she had been going through broke my heart. I believe I may have even spoken the words, "...but I didn't know."

Even in the midst of her own difficulties I believe that she did not want me to be burdened so she told me, I know you didn't know. I wasn't really able to talk about it, but you're here now...

Brenda Parks-Simmons has been a dear friend to me as well as to others, I know. She has been support to me when I faced some difficulties in my life. And when she went through a time of difficulty I was there standing with her as well. We were able to cry as well as laugh with each other.

Brenda and I were not related but she was so much more to me. She was my friend, my sister that God gave to me when I was in need of a sister. There was a time in my life where I felt really lonely and I asked God to give me some sisters that would love me for me, he sent me two sisters and Brenda was one of them. We went to the Women's coventions together; Brenda, Pam and I. We had good times together.

Brenda found a wonderful man in Hampton and they had two beautiful girls. I was happy for my friend when Hampton came into her life. Glad to see her receiving happiness in her life at a time when she needed it. She had someone who loved her and received the children her heart had longed for.

I prayed, like alot of other people for God to grant her desire to be able to continue to raise her beautiful daughters. However, God had a different plan. And as believers sometimes it is really hard to wrap our hearts around what our heads know. I know that God is going to give Hampton the strength he needs to raise his girls, but my heartaches that these beautiful girls will not have their mother.

I believe God was preparing me for this time, but I didn't want to hear it. On Sunday when I was preparing the blog he took me to the picture that I have at the top of this post. I picked this picture, but I didn't know why. I put a caption in memory of Sis. Bessie Park and I clearly heard, you'll have to write a tribute to Brenda. I said NO! This thought came again to me yesterday evening. So today, I realize God was preparing me, but even still, my heart aches. But today, I sit and write my tribute to my friend. To let someone know about this special women, Brenda. You may not have known her, but if you know anyone that knew her, she has in someway actually touched your life. See, she believed in me and encouraged me which in turn helped me to be a better me. So when you see me, you see also the touch of Brenda's life on my life. You see her life print upon my life.

I also want to say this publicly to Hampton. You are a good man. You treated my friend special. I am grateful to God that she had you to stand by her, to love her and to bless her time with the beautiful daugthers, Kara and Karrington. You my brother gave a new meaning to her life. She may not have let a lot of people into that dark time in her life but when you entered in, along with you came a new hope and a new understanding that God had not forgotten about her. Thank you for loving her and my heart breaks now for your great lost.

So today, I needed to grieve my own way. I needed to tell somebody that today as we go along our normal routines, somebody will be missed. That somebody is Brenda Parks-Simmons. You may not know her but she was my friend. She was more than my friend, she was my God-given sister. She was special in my life and the lives of many people. The sun has grown just a little dimmer for some today. Oh, we will in time move from this place with the help of the Lord, but for today, it is a little cloudy.

Pray with me for the family of Brenda, they have suffered two losses so close. The lost of our dear Sis. Bessie Park (Brenda' mother) and now Brenda. The family and friends are feeling the lost.

Prayer: Lord, today I ask that you touch the family of the Parks and the Simmons. Give them the strength they need to go forth. Bless her children and give Hampton the ability to care for them as you word promised to be the mother to the motherless. They will need you guiding them, strengthen them and carrying them in this time where they are the weakest.

Help them as each day goes forth. Step by step you will give them what they need to carry on. Touch the hearts of the friends and loved ones that she touch, forour hearts are also broken. Bless her god-children that will miss her as well, Chrissy, Jackie and any others that she took into her heart. Thank you for such a beautiful honor of knowing a person such as Brenda and though she may be gone from this world, let her love linger in the hearts of all she touched. Thank you Amen.

In loving memory of my friend,
Brenda Parks - Simmons

One of my sisters sent me the words of this song to help me today, and I share it here:

When it seems that no one cared if i should live or die.
When no one bothered asking, why I go alone and cry.
When my burdens get so heavy that I can not face the day,
Then I feel His arms around me and I hear Him gently say....

Lean on Me when you have no strength to stand.
When you feel you're going under, hold tighter to my hand.
Lean on Me when your heart begins to bleed.
When you come to the place where I'm all you have,
You'll find I'm all you need.

Lean on Me when you have no strength to stand.
When you feel you're going under, hold tighter to my hand.
Lean on Me when your heart begins to bleed.
When you come to the place where I'm all you have,
You'll find I'm all you need.

When the road ahead seems rugged and the path is getting steep.
I feel that I can't make it and my heart begins to weep.
Then I turn to see whose coming to help me on my way
And I see that my Savior and I hear Him gently say....

A sweet friend, with a sweet and loving spirit. In 20 years of our friendship,I never remember one time of her raising her voice or getting anger with anyone. She simply forgave and continued to move on.