I have been a bit ill this weekend. Seems like I caught whatever tummy bug my boys have had. It started Friday night (notice no posts for a couple of days) The good news is that it was the weekend, so I didn't have to miss any school. The bad news is that my weekend is now over, and I have nothing to show for it except some organized digital photos (which you can do in a reclined position) and a smaller e-mail list (cleaning out). We are making very little headway on this mountain of laundry, and my dining room is filled with summer clothes that need to be sorted and put away or given away. Sigh. (Sidenote: I actually started a post yesterday about giving thanks in light of some of the frustrations of life but found myself wallowing in a pity party instead and didn't finish it :)
So this morning, we slept in our extra hour. Or most of us did. Joshua was ready to be awake because I guess to him sunshine (which shines in his darn window) means bedtime is over. Darn time change. Before I jumped up to release him, I rolled over to glance at my e-mail which is something I can do half asleep. However, the first e-mail I read woke me completely up.
It was a prayer request sent out through our church asking for prayer for Mrs. Carol who had suffered a major brain bleed last night and was being taken to ICU. My heart just sank. Mrs. Carol has been a faithful attender at our church for many years. She has a servant's heart. She has taught three of our four in their younger years (like 2 and 3) in Sunday School with patience, humor, and love. I am sure it is just a coincidence that she and her husband "retired" from that position after Maria was in their class. :) I do remember feeling sad that J-man wouldn't get the sweet experience of time with Mrs. Carol.
Just last week, Mrs. Carol organized a crew to clean the mission house in preparation for a missionary family coming for a while. I was so tempted to go (ironic since my own house isn't really that clean :), if anything, just to spend some time with Mrs. Carol. I didn't really get to talk to her often beyond the greetings when I dropped off kids or picked them up, but she is just one of those ladies full of God's love and life's wisdom. In the end, I chose not to go (Lauren's basketball practice rules my schedule right now). Now I regret it. I regret that I didn't go, didn't learn all I could from Mrs. Carol, didn't take the time to tell her how much she has meant to each of us and how thankful we are for her serving heart.
The last report I "heard" was that Mrs. Carol would be meeting Jesus sometime in the next hours, after she fulfilled one last mission in her life...organ donor. Some lives around the country will be changed forever because of one last act of generosity. Even in her death, she is serving her Lord and sharing His love.
And even at our house, her legacy continues.
I am again reminded how fleeting life is. There are NO guarantees of tomorrow. Just yesterday, Mrs. Carol was attending the wedding of a sweet couple from our church. In the blink of an eye, life can be over. I have no doubt she was ready to meet her Maker. I can just picture Him saying to her, "Well done, good and faithful servant." All day I have been pondering, "What would He say to me?"
Tonight at supper, I asked the kids if they remembered Ms. Carol. I got out our church directory (a very old version...Hunter was just a baby in it) and pointed her out. They did remember her; she often sat near us in church. I explained gently the circumstances and asked them to pray for her family. I reminded them that while Ms. Carol will be full of joy crossing over to Heaven, her family here will be very sad and will miss her.
The floodgates opened up. Questions started pouring out, mainly from the two girls. "What is heaven like?" "How do her organs help other people?" "How do you know if you aren't going to heaven?" We had discussions about organ donation, heaven, people we will see in heaven, hell, Christ's return, death, and salvation. I sure don't know all of the answers, and I am not afraid to say that. But I was thankful for that opportunity to share our faith, our beliefs. And I found myself once again thinking, "Thank you, Mrs. Carol, for what you have done for our family."
Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.