I have a priceless memory, tucked safely in my heart, of Lil that I know I won't soon forget.
A lesson that I hope to teach to my girls. A vivid image of a fragile woman sitting in her hospice bed, having accepted what would probably be her pending passage to Heaven. She offered her prayer of thanksgiving said just moments after the nurse had brought in her lunch, served on a silver platter with a crystal goblet full of pink lemonade. With her precious husband at her side, she tearfully & tenderly thanked her Lord for this day, thanked Him for the hospice "this place" she called it where they would take care of her. She asked Him to take away her pain & help her to feel better. She told Him despite her condition, she would still praise Him, that she would always praise Him.
I've learned that is called sacrifice of praise. A heart that has prayed but yet had different answers given. A brave heart, accepting what ever will be, will be. Not one of denial but one whose hands are open to where the Lord will lead them, even if not the road they would have chosen. A sacrifice because it would be much easier to be angry or have dispair. A sacrifice because it is a choice to praise Him in the storm.
It's easy for any of us to have hope & joy when life is going as "it should". When the bills are all able to be paid, everyone is healthy, the roof over our heads is strong, & we live with those we love. Of course its easy to say Thank You Lord, on those days & yes we'll praise you.... of course we'll praise you. You've allowed everything to work out just great.
But oh what truly lives in our soul is seen when things are going as they should.
& I saw that in Lil that very day.
Years ago, I had somewhat playfully, as those converstations seem to go, asked for her bible, The Bible when & if "the day " ever came. She knows how much I love family heirlooms ( & the color red too-wink!) Her King James leather well worn, well read bible---notes on every page, completely tattered & falling apart, even has a piece of duct tape in the back! She had quit using over the last decade because of its fragile condition.
Days before she went to hospice, I asked her if I might take her Bible...not to have , but to use during my quiet times. I thought that if I read her notes, prayed with her bible in my hands, maybe my prayers would mean even more. Maybe they would carry with them the years of faith Lil had, the years of faith she truly lived.
The same hands that made that ole red leather bend & soften "just so" in my hands too were the same hands that folded that day & offered a sacrifice of praise.
What a legacy she left me & I am so thankful that I was there that day to witness it.
I want to thank you , each of you for your words of comfort. Just days before she passed, Lil asked me " have you gotten anymore of those notes?". I knew she meant comments on my blog related to her. She knows I have a website but she had no understanding of what a blog is. But she did know as I had printed for her, all the comments those of you left for her. They meant so much to her--the fact that others around the world had taken a moment of their day to pray for & think of her.
I thank you dear ones.
The days surrounding her passing were totally overwhelming full of events. Tickets purchased & reservations made long in advance. Besides planning a beautiful memorial service for his mom, Dan had many other things to keep him busy & totally surrounded by his family. I'll upload & share those images later. For now, I'll add yet more pictures from our trip to Seaside--seems like a lifetime ago already....
if I'm really still & quiet, I can hear the ocean now....