Friday, June 27, 2008

Beautiful Garden

Yesterday, I received some news that knocked me off balance for a little while. I found out that according to the doctors, my friend Sara Perry would be ushered into heaven within the next 24 hours. I've been praying and antsy since then. Antsy, because every time I get an email, I think it's going to be the one.... So far, she's still resting with her family and friends surrounding her. Her heart and lungs are strong, but she is fading.

It's really hard to believe. Although she's been sick for months, she's been fighting and I expected her to beat this cancer. We celebrated the miracle of finding a perfect match for the bone marrow transplant in her sister. We rejoiced when she was able to attend the graduations of her daughters, one from high school and one from college. Every time she hit a obstacle, she championed it. I was surprise by the news that she may not be able to overcome this latest infection. I was even more surprised that it's happened so soon. We are sad, because she's leaving us here. But we don't grieve like those without hope. We know that she'll be there greeting us at the gates of heaven when our days here on earth are up.

I was always impressed with Sara. I still smile when I think about the first time I remember talking to her. After Sunday School one afternoon, I was talking to Marcia about BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) because I was interested in attending. Just as Marcia tried to tell me when and where, Sara walked thru the Sunday School room. She stopped at Marcia's request and was able to give me the information about the introduction class. She was very warm and friendly and short. (At almost 5 feet 5 inches, I'm not that tall, but she's short to me. ) When I arrived at the designated time, she was there greeting people. It was good to see a friendly and familiar face. A little later I was surprised (almost shocked) to see her standing on the podium on her step stool. She was the teaching leader and she never once mentioned it!

She always seemed to be so organized and prepared and disciplined. She was a great leader and a great teacher and a great friend. She was also wonderful at sending cards to encourage people. She sent me a card to encourage me or thank me numerous times. One time I noticed that she was using return address labels that you get free in the mail with her husbands name on it. Her labels were functional and free. I realized that I'd found something I could do for her! I quickly printed her a sheet of pretty ones with flowers and other icons. I didn't think twice about it. When I arrived at the leaders meeting the following week, there was an empty chair next to her chair with all her stuff. I put my stuff down in that empty chair and took out the sheet of labels and sat it on top of her pile. She was no where to be found when I did that, so I figured I would mention it whenever she got back. I'll never forget the face she made when she noticed the labels. She looked very puzzled as she looked around and looked up as she tried to figure out if the labels had supernaturally appeared.(It was priceless!) It seems that the thought that she needed labels had crossed her mind too... God heard...
Just recently, during my time of healing, I received a card from her. With all that she was going thru, she took the time to send me a card. They are a beautiful family. I'll always be grateful that the paths of our lives crossed in Kalamazoo, MI.
Debbie cave me this image when she came to see me and I don't know who the manufacturer is. I sent her an email so I'll let you know when I know.
My sister is coming tonight so I may not be around much this weekend. and I still have to make her card...
ETA: The stamp is Northwoods.


KayellWY said...


I'm so sorry to know that you are soon to lose a very dear friend. I've sent up a prayer for her and her family and for you. A friend like you are to each other is truly a gift from God. I'm so glad you found each other. :)



Kimberly said...

Sara sounds like a wonderful person and I am so glad that you have her in your life. I will pray for her, her family and you. May we all find the peace that she may soon see.

Julie Koerber said...

I am thinking about you. I pray your friend passes peacefully from this world to the next. It is so hard, I know, but God's plan is one that is often hard to understand. Hugs to you!!!!

Amy said...

My heart goes out to you Jacki, what a loving tribute to your friend today. But you are right, our hope is in eternal life, she will welcome us with open arms one day!


Monica-FC said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend. suchg sad news for everyone that loves her. But to think even though if she goes she will still be with you watching over you and making sure you are doing fine. I will put her in my prayers. I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that your friend isn't able to defeat the cancer. She and her family are in my prayers. She is truly a wonderful friend, as are you. Hugs.

marciad said...

I forgot to sign my comment.

Joan B said...

Jacki, my sympathies for what you are going through. You sound like a wonderful friend and I know this is rough. Your card is stunning. I hope you can find some solace in creating beautiful things.

Cindy H. said...

So sorry about your friend, Jacki. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

Gorgeous card!