One of my high school friends lost his beloved wife today. She died of a brain tumor at age 48. Besides her grieving husband, she left three young daughters, ages 10-16.
I did not know her personally but felt I knew her from the columns she wrote for my hometown newspaper. I was a guest in her home once after she became ill, but didn't really get to visit with her (it was our 30th high school reunion). On the very day of my next visit to my hometown, her house burned down, about which she wrote a column. Her biggest concern was not her home, but that her children were safe! This family bore all of their misfortunes with dignity and grace. Even during her chemotherapy, I saw her at the local gym working out. Her photo for her newspaper column showed her bald. I so admired her courage.
Her husband, whom I always liked although we didn't move in the same circles, said he just couldn't understand why it was her that was stricken--especially since she was a vegan, never drank or smoked, and lived an involved and faithful life. He told me that he usually didn't ask people to pray for her (he was being PC), but he knew he could ask me (he didn't know at the time I was in seminary). And I did. My prayers changed as I realized her column no longer appeared. I heard at Christmastime that she was expected to die any day. She lived two more months; she must have been reluctant to leave this world. With all of the love she gave and was given, no wonder.
Please pray for this family as they grieve, each for his or her own unique loss. As for me, I need to write Joe a letter of condolence. Maybe I'll include some of what I placed in this post.