She was the heartbeat of her family, and a gracious gift to any community in which she found herself. She hosted a baby shower at her home, in the room she and her husband had built for "company." They had carefully chosen easy-to-clean floors, pleasant lighting, and durable (yet attractive) surfaces so they could host many others in their home as a gift to those around them.
She was so much, to so many, although many would have called her odd. She ate differently (no sugar? no dairy? eww) than most. She spoke differently than many. And she definitely dressed as though she were from a different era. But she was clothed in a radiance from her heart and life that spoke volumes about her priorities, her loves, and what really, truly mattered in life.
It's been a while since I last spoke with her. I always found it difficult to chat with her because she tenderly poked me in the places it hurt most; in my failing relationships, my bitterness, and my anger. But she was tender. And gracious. And those "hurts" didn't painfully scab up when she poked them. They bled a little, but they healed with her tender poking and prodding. Her honesty! oh, what painful, beautiful honesty she always brought!
This is a true story, and as you notice, it's written in the past tense. I received an email today informing us that this dear woman has passed away and is in the company of God and angels at this very moment. For that, I am grateful. For knowing her, for being poked and prodded and served by her, I am grateful. I am sad for her family, for the marching on they will do. Her children are around the age I was when my dad passed away, and I ache for them.
She wasn't a LEO, or a LEO wife, but it was a slap in the face for me to remember.... Is my life in order? Would anyone say anything half as nice about me when I pass away? I have a choice every day. Do I make the best of my choices? I may be wishing for "tomorrow" or "another" day, but today is the day I have. Do I make the most of it? Are my "end of watch" papers in order? Are my husband's? It's not morbid, it's reality. I believe I've said it here before, but I'll say it again. Many of us live as though death is uncertain, when in fact, it's LIFE that is uncertain and DEATH is certain. The day may be unknown, but it's coming. I want to do all I can while I am able. I hope you do too.
Rest in peace, sweet, sweet child of God.
3 hours ago