I will never forget that unique voice that was so soft, but you could always hear her joy. She was consistently kind, generous, and a fighter. Our grandmothers were best friends. Our grandfathers were on the deacon board together. We were both in youth ministry as kids at First Baptist Church on Henderson Avenue in Shreveport, Louisiana. But our lives moved in different directions after high school. She went on to become a fierce warrior in the domestic violence space advocating for women. She was well known and respected for the ways in which she served others.
Despite the media attention she received for being a change agent, she was still down to earth and a true lover of people. It was painful to find out that she had become ill and that on Sunday, she passed away. It was a blessing to grow up with such a beautiful person who was always a light. The legacy she has left behind for her mother, two sons, family, friends, and those she served is monumental. Death is something that we will all face. It is inevitable. The day will come when each of us will leave this body. We will leave behind our possessions, our jobs, our relationships. My friend is the epitome of a life well lived.
Her Facebook page is filled with tributes of the kindness she displayed to others. I am sure this weekend at her services, the tributes of her character and compassion will continue to be shared. Some of us get so fixated on the wrong things as we strive for success. We can get so focused on the end result that we don’t think much about the process or the people. People don’t remember, when you are gone, what you wore, how much you made, or the titles you had throughout your career. People remember how you made them feel. They remember what you said, how you treated them, your traits and the impact you had on their existence.
What will people say about you when you are no longer here? Are you too busy building a life of success or one of significance? The impact of my childhood friend’s life will reverberate for years beyond her time on earth. I am comforted in knowing that she lived a wonderful life but more so that because of her belief in God and strong faith, I know where she is. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going,” John 14:1-4.
God has prepared a place for her. I am saddened by the loss of such a wonderful human, but my grief is different. “Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life],” 1 Thessalonians 4:13, AMP. Although the dates of January 14, 1972—November 6, 2022, only share her birth and death, it doesn’t offer any indicator what happened in the dash. Her dash was one that was transformative. In her dash, she made those around her better. Her dash made a difference. What is happening with your dash?
Live a life that matters.
Live a life that blesses others.
Most importantly, live a life of accepting, believing unconditionally, knowing intimately, and walking daily with God. Rest well, my friend. Your legacy of love lives on!
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)