Thursday, March 19, 2009

She called me “Toadie”

Not much worse than going home for the funeral of a loved one, is there? Unless it’s waiting for death, praying it doesn’t come. But that’s where we’ve been for the past month or more, waiting and praying through the extended lung infection of Steve’s dear sister, Susan. Having miraculously recovered from pancreatic and liver cancer eight years ago, Susan’s life and faith blossomed into fresh joy, amazing energy, and service for God. Best of all, she became an unfailing prayer partner to many, including Steve and me.

After Susan’s first bout with cancer, she named me “Toadie” in her funny bent for sarcasm. It stuck. Following her recovery, we began an email volley of “Toadie notes.” I named her “Weezer.” We did things like that. Notes from Susan took priority over editors in my email. Her words meant that much to me.

No one prayed or encouraged like Susan. She had little money, if any, and a life of hardship none could deny. But she seldom complained, marking instead each day’s joys. God filled Susan with Himself.

We’re certain now that Susan knew she was dying, but told no one. We all waited and prayed for another medical miracle. But none came, just a request from Susan for family to come. We left in the morning. But Susan entered Heaven that night. Glad and pain free, she ran into the arms of her Savior. What a moment! I can almost hear her shouting, “Hey, Toadie. You should see this!”

But there will be no more Weezer notes, encouragement, or prayers. Just peace on both sides of Heaven’s door. But I must admit, Steve and I, along with all the family, find the quiet side of the door lonely tonight.

Peace to you. Enjoy each day and hug the ones you love.

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