Friday, August 20, 2010

Lost a Friend

Today I received word that my friend Lorelei had passed away. Lorelei is one of those people who brightens up any room she is in. She is loud and fun and full of energy. Her husband, Ron, was the worship pastor at Salem Alliance Church when I first came to be the middle school pastor there. Lorelei played piano for worship. She was good!

Then they did some church planting stuff and ended up in Paris, France. I got to visit them twice when they were out there. It was such a cool place that they had set up. It wasn't just a regular church, but it was a cultural center filled with music and art. The people there were very cool and it was very fitting to who the Friesens are.

Their son Justin and their daughter Sheena were part of the youth ministry at Salem Alliance. Great kids! Sheena is one of those girls that every youth pastor longs to have part of their youth ministry. I have been fortunate to have several of these students over the years. Sheena is a joy and, like her mother, lights up a room when she enters it. I was pretty bummed when they decided to move to Paris, because Sheena would no longer be part of the youth ministry here.

When they returned to the States we asked Lorelei if she would give Kynzi piano lessons. She told us she didn't really have any space for her, but would rearrange things so she could take her in. She did and that time became a place in Kynzi's week that was greatly looked forward to. She LOVED Lorelei. Lorelei was amazing at balancing fun in piano and keeping Kynzi's focus on practicing throughout the week.

She developed a brain tumor and when she lost all of her hair, she embraced it. She went into remission and things looked really good. Then in May she received news that the cancer was back and she wouldn't last long. Treatments would no longer help. I remember getting that news and losing it. As much as it hurt me to hear that news, I greatly struggled with how Kynzi would handle the news. Did I mention she LOVES Lorelei? When we told her it was one of the hardest things I have experienced in a long time. The other difficulty was knowing the pain Ron, Justin and Sheena were going through.

Since then it has been an up and down ride for the Friesens. Today Lorelei's battle with cancer is over. She is with Jesus. I can only imagine the piano playing she is doing for our Lord. The sweetness of that music I know is joy to Jesus' ears.

Lorelei...I miss you. Kynzi misses you. We all do. We can't wait for the day we get to stand before the King of all kings with you. I can't wait to introduce you to my other 2 kids you haven't had the chance to meet yet.

Ron, Justin and Sheena...we love you, we weep with you, we are here for you.


Bex said...

VERY beautifully written and honoring tribute to the Friesen family.

Chrystal said...

this was heartbreaking, but i am glad you were able to write about it in such a positive light. love you.

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