Submitted by Cheryl Cathey
Friends come and go in our lives and often we lose touch with them. Cheryl is of the firm belief that we meet people at the time that we need them in our lives. Sue Hunt was such a person. Cheryl first met Sue when she went to work for a local credit union. At first they did not get along so well, but it really didn’t matter since they were in totally different departments. Their contact was minimal. After about six months, however, that changed. Now working together, they learned to tolerate one another.
Everything changed between them when they began playing soft ball on the company team. With the opportunity to really get to know each other they became fast friends. Sue was a very devoted Catholic that took her lunch hour every day to attend mass at a church close to where they worked. Cheryl herself had been raised in a Catholic home but after the death of her brother the family basically stopped attending. Even though Cheryl had drifted away from religion she could still appreciate her new friends’ devotion to God. Sue respected others and never forced her beliefs on anyone, or judged anyone. But if you asked her, she was happy to discuss her relationship with God.
On many occasions Cheryl and Sue talked about God. As a result of some of their conversations they decided to take a trip. They traveled to Georgia, just the two of them, to a place where it was reported that Mary sometimes appeared. That trip became a defining moment in Cheryl’s life. The night before leaving, they stayed with Sue’s parents. They stayed up late, laughing together like a couple of school girls and talking for hours. It was then that Cheryl proposed a pact, “Sue, if you die before me, let me know that everything we believe is true, and if I go first I will somehow, some way, do the same for you.” Sue agreed and after the trip they would often joke about how they would do it.
Their friendship continued but when Cheryl remarried after a painful divorce her second husband was disliked by many of her friends. He insisted that she quit work and stay at home with their daughter. Because of her isolation she eventually lost touch with so many, including Sue.
Cheryl ran into Sue a few times but it was always in passing and even though they promised to keep in touch, they never did. In spite of their time apart Cheryl was devastated when she found out that Sue had passed away. It was even more painful when she discovered that her friend had suffered a long illness. It hurt her to know that she had not been there for her friend to provide support when she would have needed her most. She was also angry to some degree that her own self-absorbed life had caused her to lose touch with someone she considered to be “a wonderful light from God.”
Cheryl attended the funeral the following day and was able to see the daughters and grandchildren that Sue loved so much. There was a sadness hanging over her for the loss of someone that had inspired her and given her so much love in her life. She regretted all the time she had wasted by not keeping in touch and not making more of an effort. It is so easy to take things for granted, never thinking twice that life is not guaranteed. It is up to us to make the most of the time that we have here. The only thing that gave Cheryl some sense of comfort was believing that if anyone would make it to Heaven it would be Sue.
One evening Cheryl experienced a very odd dream. She was sitting in a bedroom that was hers but didn’t look like hers. The phone next to the bed rang. Cheryl picked it up and said, “Hello?” In total amazement she realized it was Sue and all she could say was, “Oh my gosh, how are you!” Sue replied that she was fine. Cheryl told her how glad she was to hear from her. About that time Cheryl’s daughter entered the room. She excitedly told her daughter who was on the phone.
Her daughter, Reagan, replied, “And?”
Cheryl exclaimed, “You don’t understand, she is calling me from Heaven!” Sue started laughing.
Cheryl turned her attention back to the phone and asked Sue, “Why are you calling?”
Sue replied, “We are allowed to call once a year and I wanted to see how you were.”
Cheryl expressed her gratitude then asked, “Shouldn’t you be calling your daughters?”
Sue responded, “I will, I just wanted to see how you were and say hello.”
Cheryl said her goodbyes and hung up. At that moment she woke up and thought to herself that it was really odd to have a dream about her because she hadn’t thought about Sue in a long time.
It wasn’t until the following day when Cheryl was on her way to work that it hit her. Sue had actually held up her end of the pact they had made so many years ago. She kept her promise and found a way to let Cheryl know that everything they had talked about and believed was true. God was there and she should keep the faith. Sue had once again come through for her and inspired her, like she had done so many times in the past. God blesses us with people we need in our lives at just the right time.