The day I received the call from Katie, she and Caroline had spent an enjoyable morning together, which included some deliverymen installing a new gas stove that Caroline was very excited about. The men teased Katie about not lighting any matches until they were very far down the road.
Caroline had promised Katie she could have a three-piece wicker set that she had no need for. She told Katie she’d put it in the back of her van, so that when she took Katie home at the end of the day, Katie and her sisters would have it for their empty back porch. This was SO like Caroline!
By the time I arrived at “the mansion”, an ashen-hued young woman climbed into my car, announcing that she had spoken with Nancy, who was putting a call in to Caroline’s husband at his office. Now, we were both very upset: Katie, about the woman she had a great deal of affection for, and me, for a woman who I ‘felt’ I knew quite well.
The scene was alarming. Police cars were everywhere. Caroline’s van was backed into the driveway, hatchback opened, filled with the wicker furniture, packed for the trip that never happened.
The police asked Katie if she was willing to be questioned, as she was the last person to see Caroline alive. It appeared that shortly before 4 pm, Caroline, age 58, had a massive heart attack and collapsed on her kitchen floor.
After a two-hour interview, I drove Katie back home. We rode in silence, until Katie, tears rolling down her face, said, “If only I had been there. Maybe I could have saved her. Why did God let this happen? We had SUCH a nice morning together. I’m SO mad at Him right now.”
Not the normal, faith-filled retort from my little Amish friend of 17 years. I said a quick prayer for the right words, and said, “You know, Katie….you should be very honored that God chose YOU to be with Caroline on her last day on this good earth. YOU. He knows she loved spending time with you. You said the two of you had a delightful time.”
She dried her tears, and we continued the ride in silence, thinking about this sweet woman whose life was snuffed out way too soon.
On my way back home that Thursday nite, I cried knowing that I missed meeting Katie's dear friend by one fatal day: We had plans to meet Caroline for lunch on Friday.
No….she did not have any signs of heart disease. She lived a healthy lifestyle and was not overweight.
Life is fragile. You never know which day will be your last.
Spend this day wisely.