About a year and a half ago, my dear aunt ended her battle with cancer and walked in victory with her Savior in heaven. I still think of her often. At family gatherings, her presence is surely missed. Even when the cancer and the treatments left her physically weak, she would still show up at those gatherings, usually laying down on the couch, but greeting everyone with her sweet smile. I remember one particular day, we spent hours talking about many things … about how she wants to spend every day given to her for the glory of God … about facing her fears when she went in for treatment … about how The Lord has comforted her through this trial … about the opportunities she was given to testify of Jesus Christ to the nurses who took care of her. She also expressed her desire to witness her only son get married, but she fought back the tears, realizing this dream would likely not come to be.
Recently, my son Gabriel asked my uncle about her, “Where’s Grandma?” “She’s in heaven,” my uncle replied. Gabriel continued, “Do you have her glasses? Does she need her glasses?”
“No, she doesn’t need her glasses there. She’s perfect.”
Towards the end of her earthly life, the cancer drained her of the outward brightness she always displayed to others. During what was our last visit with her, she no longer had a smile outwardly, but that sweetness that could only come from the love of Jesus, was still there. She couldn’t talk and could barely move, but she still managed to have enough strength to reach for a small box of crackers next to her bed so that she could offer a snack to our kids.
When she finally went home to be with The Lord, there was sadness, of course. But joy filled my heart at the thought of her, sitting at the feet of Jesus and worshipping Him, completely cancer-free!
“Somewhere in my broken, paralyzed body is the seed of what I shall become. The paralysis makes what I am to become all the more grand when you contrast atrophied, useless legs against splendorous resurrected legs. I’m convinced that if there are mirrors in heaven (and why not?), the image I’ll see will be unmistakably ‘Joni,’ although a much better, brighter Joni.” ~ Joni Eareckson Tada, who was paralyzed after a diving accident over 45 years ago [Heaven: Your Real Home (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), p. 39.]