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Cindy saved me a seat at the table – she died four days ago

I wanted to go the women’s breakfast. But I didn’t have anyone to sit with. Too many church dinners and women’s breakfasts in my past where I went to sit down and someone said, “This seat is saved.” But it wasn’t saved for me. Everyone already had a friend. There was no room at the table for me.


And then Cindy sent me a message on facebook

“hey girl…….have been thinking of you…..how are you doing…….also wanted to know if you are coming to the ladies breakfast…..would love for you to sit with me and would love you to meet my mom…… I want you to know how great I think you are and how much I love being your friend……you are beautifully and wonderfully made just as I am ……love ya my friend!!!”

There was a seat next to Cindy when I got to the breakfast. A new friend. Someone to sit with.

Last Saturday she died.

Cindy Bernhard. She was born on January 23rd, 1975. She died on September 3rd, 2016.

A beautiful woman I wish I had known better.

When she gave her testimony at church I came to support her. Listened to her story.

We were friends.


Life got busy. And I didn’t  call her.

Now it is too late.

Cindy, thank you for praying with me.

Thank you for listening.

Thank you for being my friend.

I love you. I miss you.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-8255

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

  • Pamela- As my wife often says of family and friends “love ’em while you got ’em.” But yes, life intrudes and we don’t always stay in touch as much as we’d like. Thanks for this post. It reminds me to try harder to keep up with friends. My condolences over the loss of your friend.

  • Susan W A

    Dear Pamela,

    Thank you for sharing about your friend, Cindy. There are missed opportunities in life to strengthen connections and to let someone know we care. We are reminded to take that one imperfect action in the present moment to send a quick message to someone we are thinking about.

    I have no doubt, Pamela, that Cindy knew very clearly that you cared for her. Your essence reached her heart, whether or not you can recall words or actions you took to show that.

    I watched part of Cindy’s testimony. Her message and her presence and her being are courageous, eloquent, insightful, giving, uplifting.

    Your story about her and about you honor her memory. Because of your sharing, all of our thoughts swirl in vividly hued ribbons to reach Cindy’s smiling soul and to cocoon her family, loved ones (and yes acquaintances) to give them shelter while they heal. My deepest sympathy and wishes for a comforted journey for her family.

    All my love to your tender heart, Pamela.


  • Cindy said goodbye with that message, Pamela. And its really sad. Just because we have busy lives and not call people doesn’t mean we don’t think of them often. We are all connected with invisible gossamer threads. I imagine earth seen at night from outer-space might look like a spiders web, but messier!, sprinkled with fairy lights. Stretching from pole to pole and to heaven too. Much love, Pxx. (ps I hated those b’fasts and still do…for the same reason)

    • Susan W A

      Yes … gossamer threads! Beautifully expressed. Thank you.

  • Felicia Reevers

    So sorry for the loss of your friend, Pamela. Sending up prayers for comfort and support for you and her family.

  • Claudia Peel

    I am so sorry for your loss, Pamela.

  • Janelle

    I’m so sorry, Pamela. It’s heartbreaking.

  • Pamela, I am sorry for your loss. I have lost someone in my husband’s family that way (apparently from the link in your story). It is tough. May God hold you and your friend’s family in his arms during this difficult time.

    • Hello Eva,
      Thank you for your kind words and for praying for her family.

  • Kim Hitzges

    Pamela, I am sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, writings, gifts with all of us that are strangers to you.

    • Hi Kim,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      And Kim, I think of you as a friend I just haven’t met yet. I write my stories for friends not strangers. Does that make sense?

  • EmFairley

    Oh Pamela, I am so, so sorry for your loss, my sweet friend. Although physical distance separates us, I feel so close to you. And I’ll always be here for you. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to me on Facebook, by email, or any other means. I understand and I’m here.

    I love you.

    Gentle hugs,
    Em xoxox

    • Thank you Em,
      I think about her sister and mom. How great their loss is.
      Thank you for your friendship.

      • EmFairley

        No need to thank me. You’re all in my prayers