My dear friend, Ruby, was buried today. She had a strong faith in our gracious and merciful God and I know she was ready to be with her heavenly Father, but I can't quite believe she has gone.
It is entirely possibly that many of you might know Ruby too, because when I blogged more regularly Ruby was one of a special group of close friends - a coterie that included Ganeida, Sarah, Rosemary, Mel, Erin, Therese, Jo, Rebecca and maybe you, too. It is these girls who have kept me blogging at least sporadically over the lean years, who have prevented me closing down the blog completely because I needed a way of staying in touch and I need to know that they're still out there somewhere and caring about me the way I still care about them.
And now Ruby has gone. And I feel bereft.
I can't remember when we both got to know each other, but it was some time in 2008. We quickly became close friends and discovered that we shared much in common - we both homeschooled, we both blogged. We attended Reformed Presbyterian churches of almost the same denomination. We both loved our families dearly and we both shared a love of the English language and word play. We both had a dry wit that could, and did, get us into trouble. We talked about deep things and we knew each other's secrets. I considered it a privilege to be included in Ruby's prayer group and we prayed regularly for each other's families.
Ruby was much more willing to share her faith than I am and I envied her knowledge of God's word and her assurance. She was wiser than I am, too, and encouraged me to justify my decisions in light of the Gospel, which often made me worried that she found me shallow. She was always encouraging and she never wavered in her beliefs. She inspired me greatly and I so appreciated her down-to-earth wisdom and gentle mentorship.
At their end of 2010 Ruby flew to Melbourne with her two teenaged sons to spend a week with us in our peaceful home. It was the first time she and her sons had travelled out of Queensland and they had a long list of sights to see and things to do. My, we fitted so much into that week! You can see a little bit of what we got up to in the photos here, but what you can't see it how much our friendship grew as we spent time together. She was every bit as wonderful in real life as she was online and we spent hours talking and laughing and joking and just doing what friends do.
My friendship with Ruby was as strong and true as the friendships I have with my local friends - possibly even closer because we got to know each other through our shared interests, not through random circumstance. Even though we haven't been in touch in recent years as much as in those early days - Ruby's much loved children and grandchildren took much of her time and other interests took over mine - I still considered her a very special friend and I have spent this past week since her death, and especially this day of her funeral, thinking about her and praying for her husband and children almost constantly. She will be so missed.
To those of you who I met online and know only in my computer, I thank you for your loyal friendship. I thank you for reading here and leaving nice comments and encouraging me to continue blogging. Your friendship is no less real because we don't see each other every day, and I just want to tell you all that now, before its too late. Because thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Hugs to you all, my lovelies.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.