According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life,
or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ~Phil. 1:20-21
Some of you might remember the post I wrote about a summer project our family started last year. If not, you can read it here (click the link). What our family did was choose someone in our church to commit to praying for over the summer and send them notes/drawings, etc. This ended up being such an amazing project. Every single one of us received a blessing from this. We decided this would become something we were going to do every summer. What started out as a "summer project" turned into a year-long project because the kids did not want to stop sending notes to the person they had chosen and they never stopped praying for them. We just recently chose our person for the coming summer/year but the kids were adamant that they did not want to stop praying for and writing to their previous person so now they are each praying for two people! It's just awesome.
Why do I bring this up again? Well, because there is a very special lady we have been praying for because she is the person Gabe chose last summer to pray and make cards for. Because of this, Mrs. E and Gabe have developed a very special relationship. He truly loves Mrs. E and is very sad that she may not be with us much longer. Even as I write this it is hard to hold back the tears. Mrs. E has cancer and is not expected to have many more days here on Earth. Mrs. E and her husband Mr. E have been a part of our families lives from the first day we started attending the church we are at now. It's has been 8 years. They were one of the first and few families who have invited us over for meals, shared their maple syrup with us, brought me meal upon meal every time I had a baby, they gave us raspberry bushes from their abundance and picked apples for us when we didn't have time to do it ourselves. Mrs. E has been such an encouragement to me. She was always making sure I knew she appreciated the things I did and reminding me I was doing a good job as a mom. She herself had 6 children and was always so happy for us when another baby joined our family. We have been thankful for their friendship and encouragement. But for Gabe, because he was praying for her daily and because he was writing her cards, he developed a closer relationship with her than any of the other kids have and he is truly sad that she is so sick.
The other day the kids had a 1/2 day of school and I had "my girls" here helping me so I took the opportunity to only bring the older kids over to Mrs. E's home to visit her. She is unable to get out of bed now, can barely whisper and is no longer eating. I warned the boys that it might be a shock to see her this way. I admit they were much stronger than me. I couldn't stop the tears. Mrs. E is in her 70's and up until last year she moved quicker than most of us. Ben and I always say that we hope we age just like she and Mr. E have because they are in amazing health and shape. They don't stop! So to see Mrs. E this way was hard. Mr. E picked up Gabe and brought him right over to her bed, sat him down next to her so he could give her a big hug. It was such a sweet moment. When we were driving home Gabe said, "I really wish she could have talked to me" and "I don't want Mrs. E to die". It was the perfect opportunity to remind the boys that while we are sad and will miss her very much we are only saying goodbye here on Earth. God promises life everlasting to those who believe in Him and we know Mrs. E loves God and has trusted Him as her Savior. We will see her again in heaven and that is such a precious hope that we as believers in Christ have. (John 3:16; John 5:24;)
While we were visiting, Mr. E wanted to make sure we knew that they wanted Ben to come visit too so on Saturday Ben went over with Gabe. Before Gabe walked out the door he said to me, "I really hope she can talk to me". Well God is good because she was strong enough to whisper a few thing to him and he was so happy! It's a bittersweet time for sure. I praise God for Mr. & Mrs. E's testimony and genuine love for God. They have served so faithfully and are a shining example of what God expects from his "senior saints". If you could take some time and keep this family in your prayers. They have a very big family and they are all there with Mr. & Mrs. E now but they need strength and comfort during this difficult time. I know they would covet your prayers.