My first really clear memory of Lisa is from several years ago. She had been working with us in the pharmacy for a while and we ended up on a road trip together. Actually, there were 5 of us crammed in a car meant to seat only 4, and I was the front seat passenger due to my tendency toward motion-sickness. I was also the lowest ranking person in that car. A lowly tech on a road trip with the pharmacy director, 2 assistant directors, and a pharmacist (Lisa), and 3 of those folks were crammed in the back seat because of me. Talk about a fish out of water! I am not sure I ever felt more out of place and unsure of myself in my life. Somehow we all survived the day relatively unscathed and the following day Lisa hands me this card. In it she had written a long note praising my work on the trip and encouraging me. It was such a great feeling, being appreciated like that. She made me feel special. She made me feel like my contribution to the trip had been important and not the imposition I am sure it was to many in that car. I am sure she never realized the impact she made on me that day.
And thus began our friendship. Much of the time it was very one-sided. Lisa was the type of person who gave of herself to everyone in her orbit but never asked for anything for herself. A strong woman of faith, she placed all her cares and worries with God. She very rarely asked anything of anyone but was always more than willing to give. There was not a task beneath her if it meant being of service to someone else. Even when facing the trials of cancer treatment, she was always seeking to serve others, to focus on their needs and concerns.
A little over a year ago I felt God leading me to re-start the prayer group at work. It had been done twice before, but after a few months it had fizzled and died from lack of involvement. I wanted to revive it and maintain it (with the blessing of management-have I mentioned I work in a wonderful place with wonderful people??). So, I sent out emails to several people that I knew had been involved before and of course, Lisa was the first to respond with "I'm in!". And she was 110%. She attending meetings and sent in requests for others, but almost never for herself. she would ask for prayer for her family, her doctor and medical team, for her friends and coworkers, but I would have to push to get her to ask for anything for herself.
A few months ago, when she learned that the chemo was no longer working she sent in a prayer request that was typical Lisa; it was a request for everyone else in her life. It stuck with me because it so clearly illustrates her heart. It was titled "me me me me", but it was anything but selfish. She explained what was happening and then asked for prayer for her husband and family to have "understanding-lean on God-joy for the end result (I win!)" and for her doctor "May God lift her up, hold her tight, and re-affirm He has her where she is best used for His Kingdom". In closing she said "I pray that what I am going through will have a positive impact on God's world and that each of you will come to know Christ as your personal savior, or become stronger in the faith. May my illness have that impact on this little corner of the world!!". Typical Lisa, loving God and his people first.
Lisa never knew it, but she is one of my mentor's in my walk of faith. Her life exemplified what it means to be a follower of Christ. I will spend the rest of my days learning from her example. Her light and love will not ever be forgotten by those of us fortunate enough to have spent time in her presence.
I love you my friend, thank you for everything. You definitely won! :)