“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3
I found out yesterday afternoon that one of my friends had passed away yesterday morning. Her mother thought to call me and I am so thankful that in her time of grief she did. Teresea was the first friend I made at college. We were both Freshmen and actually met on the first day of Freshman orientation and placement testing at Liberty University in August of 1992. I cannot remember who first started up the conversation or how we found ourselves alone on the couches in the DeMoss atrium. (Oh, how DeMoss has changed since those days.) We began talking and did not stop for at least two hours. Before we went our separate ways for the remainder of the day, we compared our schedules and found that we shared three classes together that semester—Psychology, Christian Ethics, and, I believe, Theology. We were both relieved that we would have someone to sit with in those classes. That was the beginning of a friendship that has spanned these last 18 years.
Teresea and I discovered shortly after our meeting that our birthdays were exactly one week apart and I had the privilege of being older. She would get great delight out of greeting me on my birthday and making sure to point out that I was and always would be older than her. I believe on more than one occassion she actually called me “Old Lady” before breaking out in her most memorable laughter. After distance was put between us when our days together at LU came to an end, we continued to keep in touch. As life became busier, our conversations became more infrequent, for which I feel great responsibility. However, we both knew that if even if we failed to talk during the course of the year we would talk on February 15 and February 22. Those phone calls would span two hours easily even though only a week apart. There were some years when we had something going on in life that we talk more often than other times. I guess maybe we both took it for granted that each other would always just be there—at least I know I did. I think that’s what hurts the most.
Teresea had been fighting cancer since July of 2009. I found out a year later because she did not know how to tell me. She had the best attitude about her illness. She told me that it was no use to have a negative attitude about the cancer—it would still be there. It was not going to go away if she decided to be negative. I remember laughing during that telephone conversation almost as much as I have during our previous conversations. Teresea and I spoke a few times after that conversation, but not as much as I now wish we had. She was doing well the last time I spoke to her and we had made plans to see each other in the new year. That was before the cancer reappeared in another area. So many times I wish I had called her when she came to mind. That is something I will have to live with until I see her again. I know that she would tell me not to worry about that—that now she has the healing that she could not find on this Earth. I know that Heaven got a little livelier yesterday and that Teresea’s laughter is ringing through Heaven today.
Teresea, I will forever miss you and love you always, my Friend.
In Loving Memory of Teresea Ault