I meant to post on Weight Watchers Thursday. In fact, I lost a pound and heard a good pep talk on “Get Moving!!” Exercise. With my handy Yaktrax, it’s possible to walk the lane even while it’s a skating rink, and that’s exactly what it’s been this past week. This is good…but…
The small pleasures and events of life have been dwarfed the last few days by the mammoth events occurring in the lives of dear friends. Friday morning I took Cheryl in to the hospital to have a “face mask” made before she begins three weeks of radiation treatment, hoping to reduce the size of the multiple metastatic tumors in her brain before she begins chemotherapy for her newly diagnosed metastatic lung cancer. Since Cheryl is one of my closest friends in GR, this has really had a huge impact on me. I’ve asked her for permission to tell you more about her, which she’s granted, so next week, I will definitely be sharing more of her story.
As soon as I returned from the hospital, Alan and I took off for Salem Bible Church for the funeral of Lois R., a vivacious 53-year-old friend who died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. On February 16th she had been at her daughter’s side while her first grand child came into this world. She spent a very happy day on Sunday playing with Aveena and basking in the joy of her new role as “Grandma.” Around 7 pm. that night, she developed a headache. By 10 pm her husband was rushing her to the hospital, where they airlifted her to U. M., although she was already in a coma, arrested four times, and could never be recovered. One of the last things she did was stamp “SR+LR” in the snow outside their home. They’d been happily married for 31 years.
Since Lois had lived and died in Salem and always attended the same church (the little country church we also attended when we lived in Plymouth), everyone knew her. Also, she was a beloved school teacher. The total surprise and shock of her unexpected death so rocked the community that although we arrived 20 minutes early, we were ushered by the fire department to a parking spot several blocks away and joined the long line of 150+ mourners who sat in the gym because there was no room in the little 200-seat auditorium. The funeral was an extremely touching mix of sorrow and joy: sorrow because of the loss of someone so vital, wonderful, and seemingly healthy, and joy because we all knew she was in the presence of the Lord she’s loved so well! One of the last things she ever wrote was recorded in a little book called “Grandma Remembers” and presented to her new grand daughter the day before: “My wish for the future is that as I grow older and enter heaven, all of my family will trust, know, and follow Jesus as their Savior and Lord of their life. Trust me…there is no other life full of peace, joy, and contentment.” My heart aches for her family but rejoices in her life and echoes her heart’s desire!