In May of this year I was able to fly to New Mexico to visit a dear friend whom I’ve known for 30 years. Alvirda Deloris Pahor was her name. She was 86 years old. I introduced her to others as my Mother. Indeed, she wasn’t only a mother to me, she was also my spiritual mother; my Bible teacher. She introduced me to others as her daughter. She nicknamed me, “Sunday.” What an enduring name it is to me. She even bought me an Amplified Bible and had “Sunday” inscribed on the front cover. I treasure that Bible!
In April of this year she had fallen and broke her hip. A mutual friend took her from her cute little farm house in Clovis, NM to Santé Fe, NM, so she could recover at a rehabilitation center there. He lives there and wanted Alvirda closer to him so he could help get her the best care possible. This would also make it easier for him to visit Alvirda on a regular basis. He was however, very determined that he would eventually get Alvirda back to her beloved little farm house, her kitty, roosters, and chickens.
When I visited Alvirda in May, it made my heart so sad to see this once vibrant and full of life woman lying in bed, tired, worn out and in pain. She only wanted to go back to her little house in Clovis.
My friend finally was able to get her back home with round-the-clock nursing care. He surprised me when he got her home, by sending me a video of Alvirda sitting in her wheelchair in her beautiful garden. My friend asked her if she was glad to be home. She threw her arms up and yelled, “I’m glad to be home!” She had a huge smile on her face. Her kitty was walking around her wheelchair meowing; glad her mommy was home.
I was so happy that I had made plans to fly down and see her again and even more thrilled that I would be able to do this at her home. We spent many happy moments there together.
Two days before I was to leave, my friend called to tell me Alvirda had passed away. I was devastated on the one hand and happy for her on the other. I was very thankful she didn’t suffer and so very grateful she was home with the Lord.
I flew down, grateful I had already made plans to go. I arrived on Wed, July 11, and was told her viewing would be the next day. My friend told me she was going to prepare Alvirda’s body herself. She had done this type of thing before, but never for a friend. I asked her if anyone was going with her. When she replied that no one would be there I told her I would go. The next morning, I was getting anxious about going to the funeral home and helping my friend. I prayed and asked God to give me strength. I didn’t know if I would be able to go into that funeral home and help her. I had so many images of my own dear family at the funeral home when they died and their bodies were prepared by those who worked there.
Again, I prayed. “Lord, give me strength.” Then a thought came, “This would be my last gift to her.” So, I determined to do this. As I walked into the room where we would get her ready and where I could say my good-byes privately, God’s peace washed over me. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And the best part was that I was able to reminisce about our happy times and great adventures we had, as I sat there, holding her hand, and painting her nails.
Pushing through my own fear of being there and taking care of my dear friend made me think how far God has brought me through my healing process. I was able to laugh as I thought of the fun and goofy times spent with Alvirda and cry the next moment thinking of my family. This is by far better and more healing than the avoidance of situations that may cause you to have a grief burst. I was thankful to God for making this possible for me.
I was blessed I could give my “Mother” one last gift.
“…my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.” Psalm 55: 13-14 NIV
“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17: 17 NIV
Rest in Peace, Alvirda.