It is said that friendships can be for a reason, a season, or a life-time. My friendship with Lorelei was for a reason and an extended season.
Lorelei died on August 20, 2010 after an eighteen month battle with brain cancer. She was 53.
Lorelei's faith was deeply rooted. Her entire life was lived radically and passionately as she inspired everyone she met to revel in God's grace and love. She spoke and wrote honestly and articulately of her desire to be healed of brain cancer. She was not ready to leave her husband and best friend of 30 years or their children. But at her core, Lorelei's desire was to trust God – in life and in death.
The years of friendship with Lorelei are tucked sweetly in my memory and in my heart. We became close friends on the worship team at our church. Lorelei played piano and sang tenor, I sang alto, and her husband Ron (our worship pastor) sang lead. Our hearts were knitted together by our mutual love for God and music.
I became “Auntie Karen” to their two young children and spent countless hours in their home. Memories, like old home movies, flicker in my mind --- meaningful conversations, book discussions, movie nights, countless Scrabble games, rehearsals, laughter, tears, holidays, and road trips.
Seasons change. At the time of her death, I had not seen Lorelei in nearly thirteen years. They moved to Paris, France to pastor at Trinity International Church and I moved out of state. I realize now that some people have such an impact on your life that neither time nor distance can diminish their imprint. Lorelei was such a person.
This LO is a tribute to a woman who is dearly missed. She fought valiantly, but when it was time to lay her weapons down, she did so with dignity and grace. A 2000-seat auditorium was not large enough to hold the people who came to celebrate Lorelei's life. It was a life well-lived. Thousands around the world were sorry they couldn't be there in person to honor her. Our loss is truly heaven's gain.
The envelope on my page contains a private note to Lorelei and some journaling strips highlighting specific things I will remember and treasure about our friendship. Dearest Lorelei, I will not forget you. Your friendship, love, and example have had a profound influence on me. I cherish each remembrance. Thank you.
p.s. The large photo was taken in Paris. Ron and Lorelei returned to France one final time to pack up their apartment and say goodbye to their beloved friends. Bittersweet, indeed.
Thank you for looking. Karen
NOTE: The papers IRL are black and white. The black looks more brownish here!