If you follow many of the same folks I do in the blogosphere or Twitter, today, you’ll see some little memorials to a dear friend of ours– Kristi Fornshell.
I could tell dozens of stories about Kristi, though I never met her in person. I talked to her on the phone once and I’m pretty sure that memory will stay with me for a long, long time.
At first blush, Kristi was funny. Snarky and sassy. From the first time she saw our friend, Bridget Chumbley, call me “Sassy” that’s all she ever called me. And to her now, I would say, “takes one to know one, Kristi!” And she was sassyness personified!
But Kristi wasn’t JUST funny. She wasn’t just sassy. She was graceful and generous and compassionate and tender-hearted and loving. I don’t remember ever emailing her a prayer need that she didn’t respond from the heart and tell me that she would pray for the needs I’d shared. And many times, when it was least expected, I’d find something in my inbox from her– a funny e-card or a link to a news story that she knew would touch my heart.
When I decided to write this post, I promised myself that I wouldn’t ramble on and on with sappy words, but now that I’m writing, I can’t help it. Kristi is worth all the sappy words. She would get a little choked up and say, “Sarah, your friendship was such a surprise. I didn’t expect it at all. We’ve never even met!” And the reason I know she’d say that is because the time we talked on the phone, that’s what she said to me. Not just about me, but about all our little group of friends. She loved us all deeply and I hope she knew how loved she was by us. When I tried to tell her, she cried.
So, on Wednesday morning at 5:10 AM, Kristi was walking with God. And He turned and looked at her and said, “Kristi, we’re closer to My house than yours. Why don’t you come home with Me?” And she did.
Today, I’m sad that my friend is gone, but I know it’s only temporary. In my heart, I’m singing for her the same song I want sung at my funeral… Not a slow, sad song, but a happy one:
“You know, one day I will fly to my mansion in the sky. And I’ll have no regrets when I leave this place for good. When I say my last farewells, please don’t forget to tell them that I’m not really dead–I’m just changin’ neighborhoods.” (from Big Daddy Weave’s “Changing Neighborhoods”)
I’ll see you soon, Kristi!