Circa, 1998-Sharon and I in her little apartment in Texas
I had her most recent phone number and called the nursing home she was residing in. As the nurse told me she was no longer a resident there and had no idea of her whereabouts, I had this feeling of nervousness and worry inside. I had this feeling she had passed. I decided to call her mother in Texas in hopes that she'd still be alive, and she was. I was so happy that she never moved or changed her phone number. I asked her about Sharon's whereabouts, and sure enough my feeling was correct. She told me that she had passed away two years ago in March. She was 54. That feeling of nervousness no longer inhibited my soul and was replaced with calmness. It was as if Sharon was there in spirit preparing me to hear the news of her death from her mother, hence infusing my mind and soul with calmness.
Sharon converted to the LDS church in 1992. She was a stalwart member through and through. She had been battling with Multiple sclerosis since she was in her mid twenties. When I met her she was 37. Two years younger than my age today. She was one of my very first friends who fellowshipped me, and was there for me in times of need. As a new member I remember looking up to her as an older sister. She had a heart of gold and a very firm testimony of the gospel. She was a great example of someone who attended the temple on a regular basis. Since she could no longer walk she had a van with hand controls that were made for her to drive. She literally ran her van into the ground driving eight hours to the temple almost every other week! Back in 1992 the only temple available near Corpus Christi was in Dallas.
She left behind two wonderful sons who also joined the church with her at the same time. Her oldest son does the MS walk every year in memory of her. Her youngest is in Japan going to school. I asked her mother if I could send flowers every year to her gravesite, and that is when she mentioned to me that she was cremated. Her family gathered her ashes, went on a boat, and scattered them all over Padre Island. They also threw roses in the water in remembrance of her. Her mother mentioned to me how they do that every year and how next time she will throw a few extra roses in the water on my behalf. I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful.
As much as I felt bad for not keeping in touch with Sharon for the past three years, I now know to never ignore that feeling of itching to call someone, or to send a note. When I moved up here I had the urge to call her, but ignored that prompting. Had I called her in the year of 2008 or early 2009, that would have been the last time I spoke with her, and I probably wouldn't have felt as bad. As I'm writing this story and after speaking with her lovely mother today, I don't feel as bad. I was actually happy for Sharon. Happy to know she's no longer in pain. She had nurses writing letters for her because she could no longer use her hands. Her knees contracted which made her immobile to do anything on her own. I know she's in a better place clapping her heavenly hands and running around up in heaven. I know she knows of my love for her, and how I never stopped thinking of her. I know that she is smiling down on me right now and thanking me for attempting to track her down even though the news was not in my favor. I know I will see her again and that we will laugh and share our spiritual experiences like we used to here on earth.
God Bless you Sharon-besides the LDS missionaries- you were my very first true friend in the church. God be with you until we meet again.