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On my cell phone is a 42 second message from Heidi Lee, who died last year

 A 42 second message from my friend who died

The memory on my phone was full. I had to delete old messages to make room for new messages. I sat in the parking lot of the local college deleting messages as I waited for my daughter’s shuttle bus to bring her back to the satellite campus.

I didn’t pay attention to the names or who the message were from. I let them play for a few seconds and then deleted them.

Then I heard the voice of my friend, Heidi lee, who died September 30th, 2013, from breast cancer. The message was from June 26th, 2013, 2:21 p.m. Heidi talked for 42 seconds.

I am glad she wasn’t home when I called. I am glad she returned my call and left a message.

I had called Heidi to ask for permission to quote from her talk from the Relay For Life where she was the main guest speaker. She gave me permission to quote her and she said, “I totally trust you…You’re awesome.”

I totally trust you. You’re awesome
Heidi Lee

The story I wrote encouraged woman to get a mammogram, An Appointment I don’t like to make – my annual mammogram

Heidi Jean Olson Lee had breast cancer. She was on the prayer team at church. Every Sunday, in the midst of chemotherapy and surgery she would come to church and pray for the needs of others.

Her prayers held me up. She would pray about things I was feeling deep inside of me that I hadn’t shared with her. Her hands were the hands of Jesus, and her words were words from God.

Heidi believed in me. She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

At Heidi’s funeral  the family stood at the front of the sanctuary greeting the hundreds of people who came to show their love and respect for Heidi. The same church where Heidi  prayed at the end of the service every Sunday.  On the table beside where the family stood was Heidi’s Bible, opened to Romans chapter eight and nine. She had tabs for each of the chapters and the page it was open to was covered in pink yellow and orange highlighter.

Heidi Lee's Bible

 This morning I read Romans Chapters eight and nine. I couldn’t find a highlighter. I want my Bible to be colorful. Today when I go out I will buy highlighters: pink, yellow and orange. And I will highlight Romans Chapter 8, verses 38 and 39 to remind myself that nothing can separate me from God’s love. Not my past, my messy basement, or my forgetfulness. 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

Heidi is gone. But her encouragement and her trust and her belief in me remain.

The childhood song, Jesus Loves Me, plays  in my head as I remember Heidi and her for Jesus, her family and her friends.

Heidi wanted everyone to know that Jesus loved them, and she loved them too.

Jesus Loves Me
This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak but He is strong.

Thank you Heidi for loving me and being my friend. I miss you.

Heidi Jean Olson Lee

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Sixxxen

    Ahh, Christians.. So foolish, so naive. Soon the penetrating darkness shall consume the heathens. Darkness is Light. Light is Darkness.

  • This is beautiful. I had a message from a friend who passed away from breast cancer on my voicemail as well. Unfortunately, my phone had to be reset and I lost it before I could archive it. What a gift this is.

  • Pamela,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory of your friend. What a treasure to have saved her voice mail.

    • Hello Stacy,
      You are very welcome. I wish you could have met her.

  • Pamela, James carries Helen’s cell phone in his backpack (which is his office) It’s a red Ferrari cellphone (iPhones was not available in SA yet in 2007). And her messages to him is still on his cell.
    I completely understand you why you keep this message.

    • Hello Patricia,
      When I wrote this I actually wondered if you had any messages from Helen on your phones. I am thankful you do. There is something about hearing a loved ones voice that is so comforting.

  • Love this Pamela ~ wonderful tribute to honour your friend … love it when God shows up like that in our lives. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • This is a beautiful tribute to your friend. I’ve lost a sweet friend and my dear uncle to cancer over the last few years. Their messages left on my life are so valuable. A cell company switch lost text messages, but I have their mark on my life and my faith. Heidi sounds like she was a treasure among friends. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Stephanie,
      I am sorry you lost your loved ones text messages. Thankfully the mark they left on your life will never be lost.
      Heidi was a treasure among friends. She makes me want to tell you how awesome you are. And how much I trust you. Encouragement is like water to a plant.

  • Great post. Filled with sensitivity. Really enjoyed it.