Sunday, January 10, 2010

Goodbye to a lovely lady

Revelation 21:4
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death , neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

A week ago today, heaven received a new tenant. I can't be sad for her because she is walking, picking up things, doing as SHE wishes WITHOUT any help, something she has not been able to do for about twenty years. If there is a piano in heaven there are probably people gathered around as she plays, something she hasn't been able to do in years. My friend suffered from MS for over thirty years. I only had the privilege of knowing her for about 6 1/2, yet she had a huge impact on my life and on the lives of nearly everyone who knew her.

I went to her Memorial service yesterday, it was amazing to hear person after person tell of the impact she had on their life. You see, not one of us can recall ever hearing her complain about her illness or say, "if only". Before MS, she was an active person and accomplished musician. She played for ballet companies and large choirs as an accompaniest and also for church. She rode and showed horses, graduated from college and had good jobs.

We would have all understood if she HAD said she didn't think it was fair that God allowed her to have MS. In the time I knew her, she was never able to even sign her own name. She could guide her electric wheel chair and that was about the extent of her abilities. She relied on others to take care of her every need. How tough that alone would be! Not to mention the memories of what she used to be able to do and the thoughts of "what might have been." She had great peace that God knew what He was doing in her life and faith that He didn't make mistakes. I truly can't think of a stronger person or someone with stronger faith. I think of the times I have complained and am pretty ashamed of myself. She had such an impact on others because of her inner joy, peace, and lack of complaint. She was also a testimony to others of God's love.

She was such an example to me and to others. I think that she would have been shocked had she been in the Memorial service to hear of the impact she made on everyone's life. She thought that she was a pretty ordinary person. She was an ordinary person that allowed God to do extraordinary things in her life because she relied on Him.

I can't sorrow for my friend; she is in a much better place! The tears I have shed are really shelfish ones, for me and how I will miss her. It is wonderful, though to know that we will meet again in Heaven some day. I am thankful that God brought her into my life. I learned many things from her.

*I wanted to add that MS treatment has come a long way in the past decade. There are now treatments that slow the progression considerably and allow people to live more normal lives with MS much longer.

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