And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mary's Hands

The actual date of this post was May 26, 2010 but it's getting posted today- to share a bit with you about the life and legacy of a dear friend who has gone on to be with her Maker. I wrote this earlier as a diary and more of a way to collect my own thoughts- possibly something I'd share with Benjamin someday...but today I will share with you.

- I went to see Mary tonight on my way home from work. On the drive there I was thinking about my last two visits with her. She and Dave came over to our house and politely ate my ugly blueish tinted blueberry scones and didn't cringe like I know they probably were doing on the inside. We sat in my family room on the couches and Mary would not let Ben out of her arms. She held him, rocked him, sang to him and even changed a diaper :) The second visit was less than a month later, after she had been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She watched Ben play on her family room floor but didn't hold him because she feared she didn't have enough strength. After another month and a half passed, what would she be like today? How much more of my dear friend could this awful disease take away?
What I saw tonight was a paradox.....proof of the awful sin that has so quickly destroyed our world but also proof of grace. Grace- to see a husband so tenderly caring for and loving his wife even to the very end. Grace- to see a daughter who dropped everything to be with her parents and do whatever they needed. Grace- to see their family surrounded by so many people who came to visit from all across the country. Sin- to see a shell of the person who used to be so vibrant and full of life. Sin- to see one who used to still run daily, and be so busy always helping others, now confined to a bed, in pain and unable to move or communicate. That was not Mary....and that is not how I'm going to choose to remember her.
While I was sitting with her I looked down at her hands. While most of her body no longer looked like her, I could easily and immediately recognize her hands. Not that she had extremely recognizable hands....but her hands still looked like her hands. These were hands that successfully raised two children, held and nurtured 3 grandchildren, lovingly partnered with her husband, Dave to do good work for God's kingdom. More familiar to me, these hands were the hands that held a choir folder in the alto section, hands that always were willing to prepare food for potlucks and other church functions, hands that worked to throw my baby shower for Benjamin, hands that played piano in church even though she always was nervous and dreaded doing it, hands that helped kids with crafts at church, hands that served as a youth group leader, children's worship attendant, nursery helper, hands that immediately welcomed every visitor (including us) and made them feel like they had a home in our church and in her life.
These are hands and a heart that I will miss terribly when they are gone. These are hands that I wish Benjamin would be familiar with when he grows up. But tonight, when I left their house, I found myself not wishing for Mary to remain on this earth in the state she was in, but rather anticipating God's promises to her that I know lay in store for her in heaven. If ever a woman to be on the road to's Mary. So my prayer tonight for my dear friend was this...

Precious Lord, take her hand- lead her on, help her stand.
She is tired, she is weak, she is worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead her on to the light,
Precious Lord, take her hand, lead her home.

The Lord took Mary home to be with him last night.