As we walked up the hallway from the FLC at church to the main entrance of the church, I began to see the crowd that was coming for the funeral. I greeted a few as I walked with Shar and the other pallbearers to receive our instructions. It was at that moment that the emotions I had been anticipating came so unexpectedly. I saw old friends. Not just people we went to church with, but the old members of our small group.
When we first moved to Temple Shar and I really did not want to attend Western Hills. Shar was raised there and wanted new environment to worship in. The only problem was Dana. She begged us to come the WH and hated the idea of us worshiping somewhere else. We had been friends with Dana and Brian too long to not go to church with them, but we needed to search out the best place for us. God opened doors for us at WH. We shopped around but found our home there. Once there we needed a community our age and began meeting with some other young marrieds that were in our age group and life stage. The group grew and change over the years and included a variety of people, most of whom moved away from Temple as we did. The beauty is that so many were returning for this event. This is was caused my heart to break.
I saw Jeff and Danette. My tears began with them. Carl and Lane were next. Barry and Diane, Kyle and Cami, Chris and Jenn, Jason and Kendra, Todd and Julie, Ryan and Amy, Scott and Sandy, Aunt Sharon (with Jarrod) and the Meyers ( and of course Dana and Brian). It was a homecoming of sorts, but for the first time I understood that one was missing. My heart broke and I realized that my friend was gone.
The people that you are with when your children are born hold a special place in your heart. They see you and assist you through some wonderful and difficult times and those memories and friendships can not be replaced. These are the people that prayed over Shar when she was pregnant. These are the families that we spent our free time with. These are the people we studied the Bible with. Prayed with, laughed with and cried with. This was our family and now the circle was smaller.
I hate that the circle is smaller.