Saying good-bye to dear friends

Glenda and I have been best friends almost 30 years. I don’t need to explain the close friendships of women to the ladies reading this. How you can laugh together so loud and long that your eyes get all squinty and your nose and eyes and makeup run and you’re a blessed mess, but still beautiful to each other. How one hears the other’s heart hurting from miles, even provinces, apart and picks up the phone just to say “I know. What happened to you isn’t fair or right and I hate it. But with Jesus’ help, you’ll get through. Let me pray for you.”

There’s infinitely more, but as I said, any woman reading this understands how and why our friendships with other women are both essential and precious. When a friendship includes our husbands, as does Glenda’s and mine, it makes the relationship even sweeter.

Many people living in the Yorkton area know our friends—the couple with the big hearts and huge gardens and healing hands. Between them and their mission of (among other things) chiropractic medicine and sound nutrition, Dr. Lornen and Glenda Nischuk have shared their knowledge and gifts with Yorkton and the surrounding area for over three decades. Through the Better Living Centre and their life outside business hours, they taught thousands to take better care of their bodies and spirits, to escape depression and addictions, to cook and eat and move and garden. To live better.

When Glenda recently told me she and Lornen would be wrapping up their business, selling their home and moving two provinces over later this year, it shocked me. Shocked her too, in a way. It all happened very fast. It isn’t my place to explain what led to their move, but in retrospect I can clearly see God’s leading. Our friends’ road is very like one Jesus would walk. A path of loving servanthood. A healing mission.

God will bring other local friends, good friends, even very good friends, but one does not simply go into an orchard and pick new best friends like one would pluck fruit. Friendships like that are undeserved gifts from God, but they take years to grow. I haven’t got enough years left to grow another.

I find tears on my pillows many nights now. Tears of loss but also gratitude for the gift of such a rare and beautiful friendship. Of joy too, for I’m excited for the new in our friends’ lives. Confident that our friendship will continue, just in a different way. God permitting, there will be visits and frequent calls between their northern mountain home and our prairie one.

I’ve talked to enough people to know that many others in our community are already feeling this loss. Knowing how many love this special couple, I thought you’d want to know they’re leaving soon. Both Glenda and Lornen are on Facebook and I’ve set up a gratitude and good-bye group there. Please take the opportunity to let them know you’ll miss them too.

(Post-script- I didn’t get around to posting this column on my site until several months after Glenda left town – Lornen is still local, finishing his final months in his chiropractic clinic. Grateful for technology, Glenda and I have frequent l-o-n-g video chats. We are all adjusting.)

Glenda and I have celebrated each other’s birthdays for ages. This was her…sixtieth…a few years after my own. Just kidding…no, really. The gal’s got a fountain of youth somewhere.
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