Letter to Sophie

Dear Sophie,                                                                   September 15, 2003

I had a friend with whom I shared many wonderful memories . . .

My friend had the most beautiful, long brown hair.  I always wished mine could be that long and be fixed in so many pretty ways.  Her eyes were the same, soft brown.  They always seemed to have a twinkle in them.  My friend was a beautiful person.  More important than her appearance, though, was the beauty she had inside.

My friend helped others.  Starting at a very early age, her heart went out to the less fortunate.  I remember a girl named Lisa at camp.  Lisa had some learning disabilities and was a girl the rest of us would rather avoid.  Not my friend; she not only took care of Lisa at camp, but then invited her into her home when camp was over.  She taught her how to wash her hair and shave her legs.  Nobody had taken the time to teach Lisa things like that. 

My friend boldly did things that the rest of us were too insecure to try.  One time our youth group at church visited a congregation where most of the members were black.  They had a very different style of singing.  Most of us just listened.  Not my friend; she joined right in – not always starting or stopping at the right time.  She didn’t mind.  She was praising God from her heart.

My friend could make me laugh.  We laughed together about our embarrassing moments.  I loved it when she would begin a conversation with, “You’ll never believe what happened to me today!” It would usually result in us laughing until our sides ached and tears were rolling down our faces.

My friend was very generous.  She gave to others with a cheerful heart.  When she saw a need, she filled it.  Once, when I was on the receiving end, I resisted what she was offering.  She told me that if I didn’t allow her to help me then I wasn’t allowing her to be the Christian she desired to be.  How could I resist after that?  She made me feel as if I was doing her a favor.    

My friend was an outstanding teacher.  She was so good at teaching she received awards for it.  She taught children with special needs for many years.  Some just needed a little extra attention; some could do very little for themselves.  She was never afraid of the dirty jobs.  She did things for these children that others could not or weren’t willing to do.  She inspired me to go back to school and get my teaching certificate and then helped me with every class I took.  She always had such wonderful ideas.

My friend taught me many things about being a friend.  She helped me through the hardest times in my life.  She always seemed to know when I needed her.  When I was feeling especially lonely or scared about my future, the phone would ring and she would tell me she was thinking about me.  She would listen if I needed to talk or talk if I needed to listen.  I would always feel better when we hung up the phone.

My friend was an excellent mother.  She wanted a baby more than anything else in this world.  We cried together when her doctor told her he didn’t think she’d be able to have one.  We cried again, this time tears of joy, when she found out she was expecting.  We had prayed that God would do for her what he had done for Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth in the Bible.  God answered our prayers and gave her a beautiful baby girl!

You, Sophie, are that beautiful baby girl and your mother, Angie, was my dear friend.  My prayer for you is that your mother lives on within you and that you, someday, will have a friend like I had.

I love you,

Aunt Julie

(Julie is Sophie’s “aunt” because she and Angie were dear sisters-in-Christ. BH)




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