A woman I greatly love and admire went to be with Jesus forever this morning. It’s been “the end” for a while, and her family had requested those who know and love her post messages and memories on her facebook wall so they could read them to her during these last days.
I wanted to say something. After all, she has meant something to me and I’m pretty good with words. But nothing really came. I started to write something 5 or 6 times, but everything sounded so trite and me-focused.
We’ve known this day was coming, but when I heard the news this morning, the very first thing my heart desired was to cry. Then, I sang. I sang in worship and prayer for an hour. And then I stopped.
I found my words, and here they are…
For many things; but mostly…
Thank you for living your life out in the open so those around you could see you pray, see, love, show kindness, judge, speak, hurt, love some more, laugh, mess up, learn, apologize, change, and pray some more … and letting me (among others) love your children when you needed the proverbial village.
You weren’t really my friend; we were in different circles. But you loved me. You respected me. You taught me. I loved you. I respected you. I learned. I am a better wife, mother, and lover of Jesus because of your example in my life.
I will always cherish our private conversations about life, marriage, our pasts, Christ, ministry, and children. As I lay your “Joseph quilt” over my children, I will remember and recite the scriptures God gave you as you created it. As I think of you, I will pray for and support your children and husband like you commissioned me to do those years ago when you first learned the cancer was no longer in remission.
I can think of many songs and scriptures you loved that I could certainly recite here. Instead, I find it more fitting to use the scripture that comes to mind first and strongest when I think of you:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs all the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teacher of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness (unless NCIS is on TV; then all bets are off). Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain (having your hair, nails, and lipstick on point at all times is just common sense), but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:25-31 (esv)
While you naturally mothered 5 and grandmothered 2 (so far), I am among many many more who are rising and will rise up in the days and years ahead to “call you blessed”.
Thank you, Bambi.