In loving memory of our Grandpa Tom and Grandma Cathy
When Tom was killed tragically in a car accident in July, 2013, we wondered for our dear Cathy who would now be without his constant care for her. She did too.
She told me a sacred story that I will cherish forever. I believe her with all of my heart.
The nights following his accident were overwhelming and daunting. She felt the weight of the darkness as she couldn't sleep and the inevitable anxiety of separation. She said that as she lay in bed, her closet light came on .... and an angel .... our Lauren (whom she loves deeply) .... came to her and calmed her fears. "Lauren told me she was with Tom and that he was all right." "She told me not to worry, and that when my time came, she would be there with me too." And, each of the precious times I talked to her after that day, she reminded me that she wasn't afraid to die -- that she knew Lauren would be with her and Tom would be waiting for her. She liked to remind me that Lauren had "promised" ... and it always made her smile .... and not fear her time.
When the call came from Cathy's daughter and granddaughter that the "time" had come and they were watching and waiting over her bedside, I longed to be there too . . . . not just for Cathy who is one of the most cherished friends I will ever have, but to be where Lauren surely cared lovingly for her adopted grandmother in her transition to the world where Lauren went before. I envy the paradise where we all see and know His promises are real. I will have my turn, and it will be true for me as well.
There is no other image (the one at the top, shared by her granddaughter, Jenny) that I know of that could reflect the true nature and relationship of these two sweethearts .... to each other and to all of us. These are the smiles (younger, of course) that come to me as I shed the tender tears of emotion that they have both passed on. I will miss their sweet influence and unfettered love. Something tells me that it won't cease.
We met these two over 20 years ago, by "chance" (this was certainly an orchestrated miracle, actually) through our travel business. From the very beginning, we were caught unexpectedly in a huge and inescapable embrace that has given us years of love and joy that we give great thanks for. They embraced us as their own and we have never felt or experienced differently ... and perhaps even forget at times that we aren't actually "related", although I can still feel Cathy's chastisement if I suggest we aren't. The last time Carlie spoke to her, she made her promise to remember that she was HER granddaughter! These two just weren't ordinary in any way .... and our lives are extremely blessed by it.
(I love Lauren's painting hanging on the wall of Tom and Cathy's house behind David's head. They loved each of us so much ... what a privilege!)
I love the thoughts of what they do now -- free of limitations mortality subjects us to. I wonder if there is Zucchini bread and Apple Raisin bread -- for that was a little portion of our taste of heaven here. She was ready to meet her Maker .... maybe they stopped by her freezer for a loaf on their way into Paradise.
God be thanked for the indescribable blessing of relationships that beautify our life here and will continue throughout the eternities .... for mortal angels who grace our lives with love who become immortal ones who will continue with us on our journey. God be thanked for the love our family experienced in the embrace of Tom and Cathy ... our parents, our grandparents, our friends.
We love you, sweet Cathy. I hear you say now, as you always did here ... "I'm ok, I'm ok." I trust more deeply because I knew you. You are in His arms that you trusted all of your life. God (and Tom and Lauren) be with you 'til we meet again.