I lost two members of my extended family this week.
And you probably don’t need to read this as much as I need to write it, but I need to get these thoughts out where they can be dealt with and put away. Briefly, I’ll describe Monica and Marie.
Marie was 101 years old when she took her final difficult breath this past Tuesday. Marie lived in a nursing home for the final 3 years of her amazing life, most recently entombed by macular degeneration and hearing loss. Her mind was good till the end, and her heart was not afraid of what would happen when she closed her eyes for the final time. She slipped peacefully into her eternal rest, directly into the presence of the One she had faithfully served for so long.
When I was a college student, Marie adopted me as one of her own. She took care of me, bought me clothes, helped with college bills, even paid a speeding ticket I got while driving the college van. She grilled me in the ways of becoming a good republican, and waved that red republican flag with dignity and fire. She was so funny, so loving, so larger-than-life.
Monica was a gorgeous 28-year-old brunette, a cousin who was the poster girl for Alabama beauty. Monica lived a few miles from her hometown, was making a great life for herself, and was well- loved by family and friends. Easy to smile and quick to laugh, Monica had everything going for her. Until she was beaten to death by her boyfriend a few days ago. Now there are two beautiful lives forever marred by violence. One life will end in an Alabama prison; the other life ended violently on her living room floor.
Not many similarities between Marie and Monica. One lived to what we call a “ripe old age”; the other was what we call “taken from us too soon”. The one similarity that brings us peace in our loss- they both know Jesus, and are in His presence today.
Heartbroken over both losses of life. Regretful of not spending more time with either of them. Confident that I will see them again.
Go rest high on that mountain, Monica and Marie. Blessings- and thank you for how you changed my life.