For those who haven't heard, Sara passed away in the early morning hours of August 28th. So many of us prayed, begged, and pleaded with God to keep her here among us. Not only for our sakes, but for the sake of her family, her husband, and especially...her children. Two very handsome and adorable little boys. They will probably miss her most of all.
I've mentioned before how I knew Sara. We shared some of the same friends and so our paths would cross on occasions when we were both invited to a party, or game night, or fill-in-the-blank. I remember her as mostly quiet, perhaps a little shy, but always, always kind. I, on the other hand, had a tendency to talk too much and to speak without weighing my words first. I think I had a pretty good head on my shoulders in college, but there was definitely a big dose of crazy mixed in, and I'm not talking about the "wacky, zany, so fun-to-be-around" kind of crazy (although I had a sizable dose of that too, at times). What I'm referring to now was more like the "whoa, what is wrong with that chick?" kind of crazy. That side of me tended to come out when I least expected it...well, honestly I never expected it. (Who does?) Looking back at Sara though, she always seemed emotionally stable and grounded...comfortable in her own skin.
She didn't fear death, only leaving her family behind. And even then she knew that they would be taken care of in her absence by family and friends. Still, mothers are unique individuals and not simply replaced. Please continue to pray for her boys and her husband as they adjust to this new way of life.
I've learned so much from Sara. She taught me the importance of savoring each day and each moment. She showed me, through her battle with cancer and her untimely death, the brevity of life and how none of us are promised tomorrow. In fact, even as I wrote this my daughter came to me wanting tickles, hugs, and kisses. I stop now to savor those precious opportunities. I'm still learning this new habit but I catch myself more and more often weighing everything in light of eternity. I try to seek God's guidance on when to speak and when to keep silent, not always living up to that challenge but always being challenged by the living.
I feel a special connection to Sara even though we weren't very close. We were in the same season of life together, the same age raising young kids, both the oldest of 3 children, both having one brother and one sister. Also, she lost Anna and then received her cancer diagnosis a little more than a year after my brother passed away during a time when I was still fighting my way out of that valley...and her trek was just beginning. She shares a birthday month with Matt, my brother. She learned of her cancer on her birthday. I learned of her cancer only a few days before my brother's would-be 30th birthday. Sara left this earth on August 28th. My brother left this earth in August, too. His birthday falls on the 28th. These dates may not be significant to anyone else but me. I've always had a thing with numbers so the irony does not escape me. The lessons I take away from this "coincidence" are:
- Bad things happen to good people. None of us are immune.
- We are not alone in our struggles. We need each other.
- God speaks to us in a variety of ways to comfort and encourage us (if only we will pay attention).
- None of us know how many days we have on this earth and
- God is always present and He cares, regardless of what our circumstances may otherwise suggest.